Israel's failure to recognise Orthodox Patriarch disrupts church business

JERUSALEM [ENI] Israel has yet to recognize the authority of His Beatitude, Patriarch Irenaios I of Jerusalem, who was elected to succeed the late Patriarch Diodoros in August 2001.

Irenaios I, The Most Blessed Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine

While the Patriarchate has not received any official notification from the Israeli state, it is widely known that Israel did not favor Patriarch Irenaios' candidacy because OF HIS SO-CALLED PALESTINIAN STANCE. Despite Israeli attempts to disqualify Patriarch Irenaios' candidacy in July, the election of the 62-year old Patriarch was endorsed by the Palestinian Authority and the Kingdom of Jordan. The Patriarch was installed in mid-September in Jerusalem. After his election, he stated that he would SERVE THE CHURCH AND SUPPORT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND THEIR JUST CAUSES.

The Patriarchate considers the Israeli measure an interference in its affairs and a disruption of its day-to-day operations.

Since its establishment in 451 AD, the Patriarchate has acquired some of the finest land in Jerusalem, with Israel believed to be a major lessee.

Citing a law dating back to the sixth-century Byzantine emperor Justinian, Israel contends that the government of the Holy Land has the right to approve or disqualify candidates for the office of Patriarch.

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