Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jordanian Orthodox Continue Protest against Marginalization by Greeks

From here. More pictures here. The Greek Ambassador's somewhat clueless response can be seen here. This weekend, I will try to put up a translation of the full list of the protesters' grievances, including the specific points of canonical and Jordanian law that the Jerusalem Patriarchate habitually violates.

Arab Orthodox Youth Sit-in

AMMONNEWS - Hundreds of Arab Orthodox parishioners staged a sit in on Saturday 05/17/2014 in front of the prime ministry protesting against the intransigence of the Patriarchate represented by the Greek Patriarch Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Greek Orthodox as the latter failed to perform his mere duties toward the church and the parish by the laws and regulations of the Orthodox Church. According to observers, this new escalatory movement is a courageous approach and is a precedent in the history of the Arab Orthodox objection against the Greek Presidency. However, this is only a slight movement that precedes the imminent future escalation and a continuation of previous protests which began early last April against the arrogance of the Greek patriarch, according to protesters.

Protesters in front of the prime ministry appealed to the Jordanian government to impose pressures on the Patriarchate to fulfill all their historical demands represented in ending all forms of intimidation against the clergy of Arab monks like Bishop Dr . Atallah Hanna, Archimandrite Christophoros Attallah, Archimandrite Dr. Mlatios Basal, Archimandrite Athanasius Qaqeesh and other who have ideology of renaissance and reform as well as their immediate ordination as bishops and including them as members of the Synod like their Greek counterparts. Also, the activation of dioceses system, the application of Jordanian law No. 28 of 1958 on the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and endorsing the law of the Monastery of Virgin Mary in Dibeen which was built by the Jordanians Orthodox to enable the founder of the monastery , Archimandrite Christophoros Atallah to run the monastery by the ecclesiastical laws and regulations and also adopting a regulatory patriarchal decision to call back all Arab monks of the Church of Jerusalem who forcibly migrated to other Orthodox churches.

The file of Arab church’s endowments and property, which is still exposed to the risk of Judaization because of long-term leases and selling resulting from the complete exclusivity and vague practices exercised by the Greek management in managing this file was also present in this sit-in, in addition to the official stance of the Orthodox Church of promoting and encouraging the recruitment of Arab Christians in the Israeli army.

Protestors appealed to His Majesty King Abdullah II to personally deal with their grievances hoping that His Majesty would direct orders for all concerned entities to abstain supporting the Greek patriarch at the expense of Arab Orthodox parish.

During the protest, deep regret was expressed regarding the decision of Arab Patriarchate of Antioch (Syria and Lebanon) to cut church’s ties with Church of Jerusalem due to the thoughtless and provocative decision of the Greek patriarch Theophilus (according to the protesters) to establish a bishopric in the State of Qatar, surpassing the geographical boundaries of Patriarchate of Antioch. Protesters explained that such conduct issued by the Greek patriarch does not represent them and it is on drawing a wedge among Arab Orthodox parishioners in the difficult circumstances of Arab people in this region.

Finally, the protesting crowds stressed the Arab Hashemite guardianship on all Christian and Islamic endowments and holy sites in the City of Jerusalem. They also welcome and completely support the historic visit to be made by Head of the Catholic Church in the world His Holiness Pope Francis to Jordan during the next few days. They also welcome the visit of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to the Holy Land hoping that he would pay attention to what is happening in the Church of Jerusalem.


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