Damascus, October 24, 2013
The Greek Church news agency Romphea has reported the decision of the Synod of the Church of Antioch regarding the issue of jurisdiction over the state of Qatar, stated by the Patriarch of Antioch.
Patriarch John X has warned the head of the Church of Jerusalem that if within two months he does not take steps to resolve the problem with Qatar, then the Church of Antioch will have to break off relations with the Church of Jerusalem.
Both local Churches consider the state of Qatar to be their canonical territory.
The conflict happened after the Patriarch of Jerusalem had appointed his Metropolitan to Qatar. The mediation of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Greek government did not help resolve the issue.[subscribe2]
Your article is welcome, but unbalanced. The ‘Church of Antioch’ should be the’ Patriarch of Antioch’ just the same as used for Jerusalem. They are equal jurisdictions and have been since the earliest days of the Church. This error is not putting your best foot forward as credible journalists.
Anyone who had dealings with the Jeruslem patriarchate and current patriarch should not be surprised by their actions. Orthodox unity has never been on their agenda, nor is it a priority .
Money, influence, and greed is and has been their motto, an example, their local congregation is being forsaken, and church land for money to fill their own pockets, intimidation, and/or breibery is rampant.
Patriarch Irenius, has been deposed against all known church laws, and languishes sick and alone.
All decent orthodox should not be surprised by Jerusalem’s ungodliness
The negative statements regarding the priorities of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem are misguided for numerous reasons.
1. As we speak, the Chief Secretary of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is at a conference in Busan, South Korea after having submitted an article for a handbook on ecumenism and Orthodoxy sponsored by the World Council of Churches and Volos Academy. The Jerusalem Patriarchate has been an instrumental force in the WCC and MECC and is a huge proponent of Orthodox unity as his last year’s worth of speeches, letters, and guests to the Patriarchate make clear.
2. The Orthodox Christians currently living in Qatar unanimously support the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, whose canonical and historical jurisdiction clearly includes Arabia. (See the response of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem to the Patriarchate of Antioch: http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2013/04/29/2741) Since 1997 the Patriarchate of Jerusalem with the help of Archbishop Makarios and private donations, has raised nearly $3 million dollars to build the parish with no opposition from Antioch whatsoever. His respectful dealings with the emir paved the way for six total Christian denominations to be permitted to build their respective churches in the Islamic state.
3. Last month Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III participated in an assembly in Jordan titled “The Challenges Facing Arab Christians,” in order to find solutions to the problems currently facing his flock and those flocks of Sister Churches. His speech can be found here: http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2013/09/04/2948
4. Ex-patriarch Irineos, now a monk who is respected and protected by the current patriarch and the brotherhood, was deposed because he sold priceless land and properties to the state of Israel. This action directly did and is still doing serious damage to the Church and to the local people.
5. The actions of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem speak for themselves. In just the last decade more than 30,000 square meters of construction has been added to the patriarchal schools. The schools have solved numerous local issues including unemployment, especially for women, and have risen to the top 2nd and 3rd ranked private schools nationally. They offer scholarships regardless of ethnicity or religion (more than half of enrollees are Muslim).
There is more to this than meets the eye. The Patriarchate of Antioch is based in Damascus, Syria. The extremist Wahhabi mercenaries fighting against the Syrian government, murdering Christians, and committing unspeakable outrages against Christians in Syria, are bankrolled by Qatar. In short, Qatar would not allow a “Damascus based operation” in its borders. Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem served in Qatar before he was Patriarch, and personally knows the Emir. Patriarch Bartholomew visited Qatar in 2002, and met with a Sheikh to arrange a “dialogue of monotheistic religions,” for which the Sheikh “extolled the Patriarch’s initiative.” From the mid 2000s, there has been negotiations between Qatar and the Church of Greece concerning leasing Church lands to Qatar for mining and building wind turbines. The government of Greece has “military agreements” (that is all the Greek govt. website said) with Qatar. Qatar has invested heavily in Greece- in the defense sector, industry, business, energy … Reportedly to the tune of a billion euros. The Emir of Qatar was recently reported to have bought several Greek islands. Patriarch Bartholomew recently (at the “Synaxis of the New Pentarchy”) “warned” the Autocephalous Churches to “stay within their boundaries.” The Phanar has never been shy about involving itself in inter Orthodox jurisdictional disputes, but there is not one word about this “dispute” from the Phanar; a completely uncharacteristic silence. What, exactly, does this all mean? Who knows?!? But, can it be pretended that it is merely all some “unrelated councidence?” Or perhaps Patriarch Bartholomew has been too busy with the Pope to be “concerned?”
-not one word from the Phanar after the Patriarchate of Antioch broke communion with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem …
And, what, exactly, did the “mediation of the Greek government and Patriarch Bartholomew” suggest as a “solution?” That bit of information does not seem to have been mentioned.