Jerusalem: Greek Orthodox patriarch decries court decision on sale of Church properties
August 16, 2017
Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has condemned the decision of an Israeli court to uphold the sale of properties by his predecessor.
Patriarch Irenaios was ousted in 2005 after he sold properties near the historic Jaffa Gate, in the city’s Christian quarter, to Israeli settlers. Upon becoming the leader of the Orthodox community, Theophilos sued to block the sale, arguing that is was illegal. The court rejected his petition, upholding the transfer.
Saying that the ruling was “unfair” and politically motivated, the Orthodox prelate insisted that his lawyers had presented “clear and concrete legal evidence proving bad faith, bribery, and conspiracy” in the transfer of property. He said that the ruling, encouraging efforts by Jewish settlers to move into the city’s Christian quarter, would have “the most negative effect on the Christian presence in the Holy Land.”