Cold war with Irenaios won’t dim holy flame

Belying fears that the frosty relations between Athens and the scandal-mired Jerusalem Patriarchate could derail a major annual religious ritual, the flame lit on the spot where Christians believe Christ was buried will be carried to Greece on Easter Saturday, it was announced yesterday. However, no Foreign Ministry officials will accompany the flame on the special Olympic Airlines flight to Athens, and the government will be represented by Deputy Transport Minister Anastassios Nerantzis. Relations between the Foreign Ministry and Patriarch Irenaios are at an all-time low over the alleged sale of Church land in the Arab section of Jerusalem to Israelis. Athens all but instructed Irenaios to resign, which he has refused to do. Main opposition party PASOK said Greece should send a full delegation to Jerusalem. From Athens, the flame will be carried all over the country for use in Resurrection services.

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