Israel: Christians accuse the Orthodox Patriarchate of corruption
In Jerusalem, the Palestinian Christians rebelled against their Church. The faithful accuse the Orthodox Patriarchate, one of the biggest landowners in Jerusalem, of selling off its patrimony to the Israel people. At issue is a series of announcements on the sale or lease of several real estate properties of the Greek Orthodox Church to Jewish ultranationalist associations. Controversial transactions, but validated by the Israeli judiciary.
In early August, a court filed the surrender of two buildings in the Old City of Jerusalem, which is located in the Palestinian part of the city annexed unilaterally by Israel. If the Patriarch Theophilus III announced a few days ago that he would appeal to the Supreme Court, it is insufficient for the faithful who express their anger.
Hani Boullata, standing in the middle of the crowd of tourists passing through the gate of Jaffa, one of the entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem, watches the facade of a building with an air of concern. This is one of the many properties of the Orthodox Church. But like another building, it was leased to an Israeli association with a 99-year lease, renewable. Nothing less than a concealed sale for the secretary of the Orthodox Society of Jerusalem.
” History can be summed up in one word: corruption. Internal to the Patriarchate. How can one explain the two hotels at the Jaffa Gate? According to what is declared, it is 15 million shekels or 3 million euros. And that’s slab. We know it’s worth a lot more. So clearly it’s a matter of corruption, “he explains.
” Too much is too much “
Corruption and opacity are what denounce the faithful who also learned that the Patriarchate recently ceded tens of hectares to investors “unknown” in another quarter of Jerusalem. ” Too much is too much. Buildings are one more reason to diminish the existence of Christians in Jerusalem, “he adds.
Accusing also their religious authorities to threaten the Palestinian presence in the three-holy city, Orthodox Christians today demand the resignation of their patriarch.