Saturday, December 22, 2007

Greek Orthodox Battle in Israel

I cannot fully tie this picture in but somehow, someway it is relevant. AFP

The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem (GOCJ) owns the land of the Knesset and the Israeli prime minister's residence is on. Like all Orthodox churches it has been allied/tied with the political regime whether it be Christian, other Abrahamic, or even hostile atheist. The GOCJ continues this relationship by having its leaders being approved by the Palestinians, Jordanians, and Israelis.

A rumbling is going on right now in Israel over these ties. The previous GOCJ, Irenaios I, rented and selling church property to Jewish Israeli developers. Depending on who side you take in the argument Irenaios is either a friend to all or a lying Zionist spy. Add on the facts that most Orthodox in the area are Palestinian Christians and the modern Orthodox hierarchy has an "interesting" relationship with Jews. In 2005 the Orthodox churches agreed to impeach Irenaios and replace him with Theophilos III.

Irenaios is not going down without a fight. Recently the Israeli government refused to recognize the switch and still considers Irenaios the lawful Patriarch. The Israelis are also declined to renew visas for the Greek Orthodox church (most of the clergy is of Greek citizenship). For now the GOCJ is refusing to budge but is powerless to do anything as the Israelis treat Irenaios as the true patriarch.

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