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Sunday, March 20, 2005


'Keep Hands Off Property of Palestinian Christians'

The Greek Orthodox Church is finally being called to task after years of corruption, at the expense of the dwindling Palestinian Orthodox community in Palestine. One example, "Arabs represent some ninety percent of the Greek church's followers, though they are not allowed to assume the patriarchy."

"At the moment, Archimandrite Dr. Theodosios Attalla Hanna is one of the only few highly educated clergy within the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem whom is of Palestinian origin; The Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre consists of 200 Greek Orthodox monks, all of which are of Greek descent. Very few Orthodox Christians whom are of Palestinian descent are part of the mainstream patriarchate administration."

For years, I've heard stories from Palestinian Orthodox, my father included, about the corrupt nature of the Greek clergy that was sent to Palestine to lord it over the Palestinian Orthodox. Much of the details concerning the Greeks propensity for selling and leasing its land holdings to Israelis are no longer relegated to low circulation Antiochian Church publications. Some of their other dirty dealings are receiving widespread scrutiny. We learn now in the mainstream media that Archbishop Christodoulos sent Apostolos Vavilis, a convicted drugs smuggler, to Jerusalem to ensure Patriarch Eirinaios election in Jerusalem. Of course, that is not what is behind the recent call on the part of the Palestinian clergy for the Patriarch's resignation. Their biggest concern now is that the Greeks have sold significant amounts of Palestinian Orthodox land holdings to Israelis.

"'We can no longer remain silent vis-à-vis the recurrent scandals and corruption on the part of patriarch Erionos and his assistants,' they charged.

"Chairman of the monastery cited the patriarch’s selling of Church lands and appointing suspicious persons in sensitive posts such as the financial official, who swindled millions of dollars then ran away, and the media official, who was involved in drug trafficking, as evidence of such serious conditions.

"He also charged the patriarch of collaborating with the Israeli Mossad (intelligence apparatus), and added that the Mossad was the one running the Church affairs while Erionos was used as the claw to strike national figures within the Church and to weaken its position regarding the Palestine question."

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