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Press Government of Israel to Recognize the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, National Council of Churches General Assembly Urges

November 6, 2003, JACKSON, Miss. -- His Beatitude Irenaios, the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, was canonically elected on August 13, 2001 -- but more than two years later, his election has yet to be recognized by the Government of Israel.  This means the Patriarchate -- legally responsible under Israeli law for many Christian Holy Sites along with schools, hospitals and other institutions -- is unable to exercise its responsibilities. 

During its 2003 annual General Assembly, the National Council of Churches renewed its 2002 call to the State of Israel to recognize His Beatitude Irenaios' election. 

Please urge your members of Congress and President Bush to ask the Israeli government to ratify Patriarch Irenaios' election forthwith.  To learn more: visit the Web site of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

NCC 2003 General Assembly: Reissue of Resolution Recognizing the Patriarch of Jerusalem

November 6, 2003

WHEREAS the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, meeting in November 2002, expressed serious concern about the ongoing failure of the Government of Israel to recognize the canonical election in August 2001 of His Beatitude Irenaios, the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

And,

WHEREAS another year has passed without the recognition by the State of Israel of the canonical election of His Beatitude.

And,

WHEREAS the venerable and ancient Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem is unable to function as a legal entity in Israel, and is thus unable to oversee properly the Holy Shrines and property under its jurisdiction and to operate the schools, hospitals and other institutions through which it serves Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land.

And,

WHEREAS Orthodoxy worldwide and the larger Christian community has been waiting more than two years for this recognition and finds the delay inexcusable.

Therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA respectfully renews its call to the State of Israel to recognize the canonically elected Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Irenaios, without further delay, thus evidencing its respect for his centuries old rights as well as the rights of the Christian community at large.

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