Patriarch gets Synod backing

The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem yesterday stood by its leader, Theophilos III, following Jordan’s decision to withdraw its recognition of the cleric. «The Holy Synod… declares its full trust and unshakable solidarity with its spiritual father,» it said. Jordanian authorities on Saturday withdrew their recognition of Theophilos over his alleged failure to recover Church land in eastern Jerusalem, believed to have been sold to Israeli firms by Theophilos’s predecessor Irenaios. According to Jordanian Greek Orthodox MP Awdeh Qawass, this was «a political move to put pressure on the patriarch to honor pledges.» «The patriarch (and) Holy Synod… are fully aware of their obligations… and highlight their good intention to respond soon with concrete action,» the Holy Synod added. Meanwhile Greece’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said Athens was striving to «resolve any misunderstandings and restore calm.»