*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Greek Patriarch rift: no end in sight yet

by
31 May 2007

by Gerald Butt Middle East Correspondent

Unbowed: the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, smiles during a national conference in Jerusalem

Unbowed: the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, smiles during a national conference in Jerusalem

THE SCHISM in the Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land shows no signs of ending, with churchmen continuing to take sides. The split has been caused by Jordan’s decision last month to revoke its recognition of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Kerios Theophilos III (News, 18 May).

The Jordanian government said that Theophilos had failed to honour his pledge to restore to Christian ownership church land that was sold to Israelis by his predecessor.

The Bishop of Sebastia in the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Attallah Hanna, was quoted by the official news agency in Jordan as welcoming the decision of the Amman government.

Under a long-standing agreement, senior church appointments in the Holy Land require the approval of the powers of the land. Today, these are Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan.

Bishop Hanna called for radical reforms to improve the organisation of the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, saying it had been blighted by cases of corruption.

But Theophilos III, in an interview with an Athens newspaper, insisted that he still enjoyed the support of the Arab Orthodox community. “The flock recognises our love, and has no problem with me because they know me better than I know myself,” he said.

The Patriarch accused certain members of the Jordanian royal family of being behind the decision to revoke his recognition, saying they wanted to acquire church land near the River Jordan. Theophilos had refused to give in to pressure.

Meanwhile, the World Council of Churches has appealed to the Jordanian government to reverse its decision on Theophilos III. In a letter to the Prime Minister of Jordan, Marouf al-Bakhit, the secretary general of the WCC, the Revd Dr Samuel Kobia, said that he feared it could “lead to a division among the Orthodox Christian community in Jordan and Palestine”.

Dr Kobia said that while the WCC understood “the reason behind this decision by the Jordanian government”, it wanted the Amman authorities to reconsider the matter “so that peace and harmony within the Church prevail again”.

Clerical

Priest in Charge (Rector Designate)

London and Home Counties

Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

Appointments

Organists and Layworkers

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)