News and events

The Synod in Phanar striked Eirinaios from the Diptychs ( 25.05.2005 )



The Panorthodox Synod in Phanar decided on striking Eirinaios from the Diptychs of the Orthodox Church, by majority vote. The representatives of the Antioch and Poland Patriarchates abstained from voting, while the Patriarchate of Georgia voted against. The decision by the Orthodox Church hierarchs binds even those who did not attend the Synod, while it legally authorised the three-member committee, which is temporarily administrating the Jerusalem Patriarchate Synod, to proceed with appointing a suffragant and electing a new Patriarch. As per Metropolitan Bishop of Caesarea Vasilieos, the committee will see to the above immediately. The Synod meeting was long and despite the hierarchs’ recommendations to Eirinaios to contribute towards resolving the crisis by resigning, he remained unmoved. However, upon departing from Istanbul, Eirinaios refuted rumours of having made statements commenting on the decision and describing it as "political". In the meantime, Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis stated that the decisions of the Panorthodox Meeting have to be accepted by everyone, noting, "Whoever deviates or does not conform will bear the responsibility of any negative developments."

"I Will Remain as the Patriarch"

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew read the official announcement of the Panorthodox Synod, which lasted 8 hours.

As per the announcement, the Synod of the provosts of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches and their representatives convened and discussed the situation created recently at the Church of Jerusalem and after long deliberations it decided on recommending to the Patriarch of Jerusalem to hand in his resignation.

According to Patriarch Bartholomew this was asked of Eirinaios as a self-sacrifice act, so that peace may prevail in Church, however, since Eirinaios denied to do so, the Panorthodox Synod decided to denounce him and strike his name from the Orthodox Diptychs.

Bartholomew went on to explain that this essentially means that Eirinaio will from now on be known as former Patriarch of Jerusalem, while the three-member committee, which is temporarily administrating the Jerusalem Patriarchate Synod, was legally authorised to proceed with appointing a suffragant, as required by Jordanian law.

On his part, the denounced Patriarch told reporters, "I will remain as the Patriarch." As a matter of fact, he reacted intensely when the Ecumenical Patriarch allowed Eirinaios’ opponents, the Holy Sepulchre clerics, to voice their opinion.

Archbishop Anastasios of Albania declared that every surgery is accompanied by pain; however, the pain would be greater if this decision was not made.

Archbishop Aristarchos of Konstantini declared that the Holy Sepulchre brotherhood would wait for the Palestinian Authority to publicise its decision to denounce Eirinaios, while as soon as everything has been settled he would proceed with appointing a suffragant for the Patriarchal throne.

Letter from Palestinian Authority

In the meantime, a letter from the office of the Palestinian Authority’s PM, Samir Hleileh, was sent to the clerics in Phanar this afternoon, mentioning, "The Palestinian Authority will respect any official and legal decision made by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the leadership of Orthodox Churches." It further noted that great obstacles have hampered the Palestinian Authority’s Investigative Committee, which was formed to check the deals for the sale and leasing of Patriarchal property, thus delaying issuing its findings.

The letter, which was signed by the Cabinet’s secretary-general and the manager of the PM’s office, also confirmed that Patriarch Eirinaios cooperated with the Committee and granted it power of attorney to nullify the contracts.

the information is taken from the Greek medium: