U-S TALKING TO ISRAEL ABOUT REFUSAL TO ACCEPT GREEK PATRIARCH - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/9/2002 - Washington

U-S TALKING TO ISRAEL ABOUT REFUSAL TO ACCEPT GREEK PATRIARCH

The U-S State Department is talking to Israel about that nation's refusal to recognize the Greek Orthodox patriarch for the Holy Land, Eireneos (eer-in-AY'-ohs) the First. The department's ambassador for religious freedom, John Hanford, said the refusal has strained Israel's relations with the Greek Orthodox Church. Under centuries-old Holy Land tradition, a new patriarch must be approved by rulers of the areas where his parishioners live. Without that recognition, the patriarch cannot represent the church in dealings with the host country. After his election a year ago, Eireneos said that the Greek Orthodox Church wanted to repossess land holdings in Israel, including the land under Israel's parliament. Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have recognized him as patriarch, but Israel has not.
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