Beirut (AsiaNews) - Relations between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem are in a crisis after the latter appointed Archimandrite Makarios as the metropolitan of Qatar, even though the Persian Gulf nation falls under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch, and not that of Jerusalem.
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch that met in Balamand Convent (Lebanon) last Wednesday reported the situation. In a press release, it slammed the decision by its Jerusalem counterpart, saying that it would break ranks with the Orthodox communion if the latter did not reverse its decision.
In their statement, the Antioch Greek Orthodox prelates said that they informed the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all the Autocephalous Churches about the Patriarchate of Jerusalem's "decision, which violates all Church laws".
The Synod noted that it learnt about the decision only "after insistent requests". In fact, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was informed both verbally and in writing of Antioch's request.
John X (Yazigi), patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, said he would meet with his Jerusalem counterpart, Patriarch Theophilos III, to discuss the matter.
In its communiqué, the Antioch Patriarchate said, "Archimandrite Makarios was in charge of pastoral activity on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church in Doha for residents of various nationalities, and we thank him for his work. However, his assignment was temporary, and the patriarchate of Jerusalem does not have the right to appoint him."
In doing so, "the laws that regulate the relations between the various patriarchates were violated. The Greek Orthodox Church already has a bishop in the Persian Gulf, Metropolitan Constantine.
Despite repeated pleas from the Patriarchate of Antioch, Makarios's ordination as archimandrite went on any way on 10 March, the press release said.
In view of the situation, Antioch will continue its efforts to resolve the situation, hoping that it might not have to take extreme measures or revisit the Geneva Accords that regulate relations among the various patriarchates in the Orthodox Diaspora.