OPINION

A holy upheaval for Jerusalem patriarch

With all the recent upheaval in the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, even the most pious believers must have started questioning whether Patriarch Irenaios should lead the traditional Easter ceremony at the Holy Sepulcher on Saturday. Will we once again welcome to Athens the arrival of the Holy Light with all the honors of a distinguished head of state? And if all does go smoothly, will Irenaios then be entitled to maintain that he received celestial approval for his disputed post, just as politicians use the popular mandate to exonerate them from their own misdeeds? Long before the Holy Light became yet another talking point to stir up flippant discussions on a never-ending string of television chat shows, it was the focus of frequent and passionate debates between intellectuals and theologians… With the discord in Jerusalem showing no sign of abating during Holy Week, a much-discussed book titled “The Holy Light in the Debate between the Enlightenment and Orthodoxy” has gained prominence. The work by Father Georgios Metallinos, first published in 2001, assembles 19th century texts questioning the validity of divine intervention in the summoning of the Holy Light.