June 10, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Scandal in "holy family" because of the Athenian real estate

The conflict between the Constantinople Patriarchate and the Athenian Archdiocese flared up with renewed vigor. The reason is the same – real estate.

The Phanars are annoyed that the municipal authorities of Athens have transferred to the ownership of the Church of Greece the temple, which the Patriarchate of Constantinople considers to be its own.

The Municipal Council of Athens decided to cede the property and the temple of St. George in Patisia to the Diocese of Athens until 2071, which caused the dissatisfaction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. “Vima Orthodoxy”

For several years, the Athenian Archdiocese has been suing Phanar because of the church of St. George, since the Church of Greece considers it theirs, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople theirs.

In 2017, the cleric of the Patriarchate of Constantinople unauthorizedly, without notifying Archbishop Jerome of Athens, went to the church and celebrated the Liturgy there, which entailed going to court. As a result, the church was sealed by the authorities.

The Municipality of Athens at its last meeting decided to transfer the temple to the ownership of the EOC, according to which “the term of the concession is agreed for fifty (50) years and begins today, with the signing of the document, and ends on December 31, 2071 and can be extended by mutual agreement parties “.

Bartholomew’s reaction – what will happen to his trip to Greece?

According to an article in Katimerini, the environment between the Ecumenical Patriarchate describes as “very intense” dialogue between Archbishop Jerome of Athens and Bartholomew’s closest associate, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, when the latter contacted him to express Phanar’s dissatisfaction with what was happening.

It is reported that the Phanar hierarch contacted the head of the EOC by telephone in order to “convey dissatisfaction with what was happening,” and “at some point they reached the limit.” After that, the visit of the Patriarch to Greece was called into question.

However, it seems that the residence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not want to violate the festive character of the visit and the honor of the important milestone of the completion of the 30th anniversary of the election of Bartholomew.

Although, in addition to the fate of the churches of the Probon estate, the irritation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is also associated with the timing of the corresponding procedures, since they can “spoil” the festive atmosphere of Mr. Bartholomew’s visit to Athens.

In fact, it is confirmed that Fanari, as soon as it became known that there was a discussion about granting the right to use the temples to the city council, intervened so that it would not continue.

It was also mentioned about the planned visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch, in which it was noted that the decision could be postponed until later. Fanari used the argument: “This is a solemn visit on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the election of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and not a visit to resolve church issues.”

Nevertheless, the scandal in the “Sacred Family” did not subside on this, the proceedings continued, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate considered that this also happened due to constant pressure from the Athenian Archdiocese.

In any case, according to the authors of “Vima Ortodloxias”, the climate in connection with the visit, scheduled for November 20, was negatively charged.

This is not the first scandal between Fanari and Athens. After Bartholomew came to the “throne” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate between Athens and Constantinople (Istanbul), many conflicts, connected with Bartholomew’s attempts to grab some more property into the hands of the patriarchy and Jerome’s unwillingness to succumb to these claims. Nevertheless, in 2017, with the mediation of the US Ambassador to Greece, the parties “buried the hatchet” and found a temporary compromise.

In recent years, Bartholomew, claiming the title “Orthodox Pope”having received strong support from overseas, managed embroil among themselves most of the Orthodox of the whole world, plunging the Christian Church of the Orthodox rite into the largest split millennium.

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