Jerusalem (AsiaNews) The Synod of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem yesterday appointed Archbishop Cornelios locum tenens, i.e. trustee for the Patriarchate. Mgr Cornelios, Metropolitan of Petra, will replace Ireneos I who was ousted on May 24 by the Pan-Orthodox Synod in Istanbul (Constantinople), until a new Patriarch is nominated.
In an interview with AsiaNews, His Eminence Aristarchos, secretary general of the Synod of the Greek-Orthodox of Jerusalem, said that the situation in the Holy Land is calm.
"We have the locum tenens and we are now waiting for the nomination of the new Patriarch," he said. "Archbishop Cornelios's nomination must be approved by the responsible governments (Palestine, Israel and Jordan) which we have already informed."
"Now we must send a list of candidates for the post of Patriarch to these governments who must give their approval. Afterwards, there will be an election," he added.
Given the legal status of Jerusalem, ousting and replacing the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem cannot be done without the approval of the appropriate political authorities.
The timing for the new elections are "in God's hands. It could be quick or take a long time, but for now, no one can tell," he stressed.
As to Ireneos I's refusal to give up his post as Patriarch since, as he claims, he "did nothing wrong", Aristarchos said: "We have a decision of the General Synod to remove him. According to this decision, we must go ahead and he must get out".