Final act for Irenaios scandal looms

Barring surprises, today’s synod of Greek Orthodox church leaders at the Phanar will set in motion the final act in the drama of Irenaios, the patriarch of Jerusalem who is now completely isolated. The crisis has been the worst in the Patriarchate’s modern history, but the departure of Irenaios will not be enough to bring the desired catharsis to Jerusalem and Athens. The circle of guilt for the politically loaded economic scandals of the Jerusalem Patriarchate is far wider than most know or want to believe. Apart from the entanglement of the Greek Orthodox patriarch in Greece-based power centers, there is a risk that temporarily defusing the crisis will soon give way to new upheavals that may have far greater consequences, both for the status of the Patriarchate and for the international image of Greece. But let us go back to the beginning.