On July 25, the Synod of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, chaired by Patriarch Theophilus III, reinstated in the priesthood Irenaeus, the former patriarch of Jerusalem.

  • Jerusalem
  • 20.Aug ‘19
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His Beatitude Irenaeus (Emanuel Skopelitis) was elected Patriarch of the Church of Jerusalem in 2001, but in 2005 the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem deprived him of his priesthood, removing him from the administration of the Church. Irenaeus did not accept this decision and continued to worship at the apartment, where in fact he was under house arrest.

A few days ago, the current Patriarch Theophilus III lifted all offenses from Irenaeus, leaving him the title “former Patriarch of Jerusalem”. The official explanation is that the restoration of dignity was taken due to the deteriorating health of Irenaeus.

The main version about the suspension of Irenaeus from the leadership of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church is dubious transactions with church property in Jerusalem. Then it was alleged that Irenaeus supposedly sold the hotel of the Patriarchate to the Israel authorities. However, according to insiders, this hotel is rented out, and after the overthrow of Irenaeus, the beneficiary is Patriarch Theophilus.

There is also a conspiracy version. Irenaeus has, so to say, removed patriarch Bartholomew, who had agreements with members of the Holy Sepulcher Brotherhood, with whom Irenaeus came into conflict. In 2005, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew brought up the question considering Irenaeus at a council meeting. As a result, with 8 votes to 6, it was decided to support the decision of the Synod of the JOC to depose Irenaeus. Guess how the ROC voted? In those unforgettable years, the Russian Orthodox Church fully supported the initiative of Patriarch Bartholomew. We don’t know how everything would have turned out, if Irenaeus had remained the primate, but now the relations between the ROC and the JOC are quite uncertain.

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