NEWS

Patriarch rebuffed by Jordan

The government yesterday denounced Jordan for withdrawing its support for Greece’s Orthodox Patriarch in Jerusalem,Theophilos III, saying the move was hasty. «The sudden decision by the Jordanian government… has not given Theophilos III the required time to make the necessary decisions,» Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said. «Greece wholly backs (Theophilos) and will work toward solving this misunderstanding,» Koumoutsakos added. Amman decided late on Saturday to retract its recognition of Theophilos, saying he had «failed to fulfill his obligations.» Amman’s chief complaint is Theophilos’s alleged failure to recover Church land in Jerusalem believed to have been sold by his predecessor. Jordan had requested an update of the patriarchate’s assets following the deposition of patriarch Irenaios in 2005 for allegedly selling Church property in a sensitive area of Jerusalem to Israeli companies. In interviews to the press over the weekend, Theophilos said he could not compile the requested report as local officials and police «hold the key.»