Irenaios in last-ditch attempt to block vote

An Israeli court is due to decide this morning whether to let today’s election of a new head of the Jerusalem Patriarchate go ahead as planned after the former Patriarch, Irenaios, lodged an appeal yesterday demanding that the vote not take place. The court in Jerusalem heard the appeal and after some two hours the presiding judge said it would deliver a verdict at 9 a.m. this morning local time (10 a.m. Greek time) – one hour before the election is due to be held at the Patriarchate. Irenaios insisted that the vote not be allowed to proceed and the candidates be deemed unsuitable for the post. The seat is currently held by a caretaker patriarch, Cornelius, Bishop of Petra, who was appointed in May after the ousting of Irenaios who was charged with leasing prime Patriarchate property in Jerusalem to Jewish investors. The 14 members of the Patriarchate’s Holy Synod, 12 representatives of the Orthodox community and 21 archimandrites will choose three candidates, one of whom will be elected as the new patriarch.

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