Due to transactions of church property, made secretly with Israeli settlers, the former Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church Irineos I, is living behind locked doors in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem since 2005.
His successor, Theophilos III, does not authorize his lawyer, doctor or any visitor to enter the house ” prison ” of the former Patriarch.
He spends his days completely isolated, praying, reading and writing, always wearing the black traditional costume of the Greek Orthodox clergy. Irineos still considers himself the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church.
A Muslim Palestinian from the old city regularly brings him food in a basket, which he pulls up with a rope through one of the windows, overlooking an alley in the old town.
The allegations against the former Patriarch are based on the fact that he signed sales agreements with Jews wanting to increase their presence in the majority of the old Arab city of East Jerusalem.
Three important buildings in the Jaffa Gate were the subject of leases of 198 years and were sold to a group of anonumous investors… the shops, the Imperial Hotel and the Petra Hotel are located in the Jaffa Gate at the intersection of Christian, Muslim and Armenian neighbourhoods.
According to the ‘Camp David’ agreement” of 2000, the Christian and Muslim areas, whose population is Arab, would remain under Palestinian control and become the new Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, whereas the Jewish sector would be Israeli.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate holds 20 percent of the old town.
In 1990 another scandal was revealed. The Hospice of Saint John, near the Holy Sepulchre, was acquired through a foreign company, but funds came from the Housing Ministry, which was headed by Likud Minister David Levy at the time…
Obviously, a lot of money was involved with these properties agreements, but not enough related documents could be found. The financial Manager, Mr. Papadimas, vanished with $ 700,000, and claims from his exile that a proxy of sale had been signed by Patriarch Irineos I, who replied to this statement that the document was fake!
Some think that the Patriarch Irineos wanted to remain in good favor with the Israeli authorities. However, one cannot ignore the fact that that many criminal investigations are underway in Greece concerning the scandals, accusing the Greek Church to be involved in the antics traffic, and of rigged trials and sexual offenses.
This movement of acquisition of property in the old town and the new city of Jerusalem is an indisputable fact, which worries the local population, because the number of settlers implanted in Jerusalem is continuously growing.