Greek patriarch fires archmandrite Atallah Hanna over claims of supporting Palestinian terrorism
Palestine, Politics, 7/13/2002
The Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem Arinous 1st on Thursday fired Archamandrite Attallah Hanna from his post as an official spokesman for the Orthodox church in Jerusalem and the holy lands.
In a statement he made following a meeting he held on Thursday with an Israeli official at the headquarters of the Orthodox patriarchy in Jerusalem, the patriarch accused Hanna of "supporting the Palestinian terrorism," noting Hanna's rejection to sign a document condemning the Palestinian operations. Arinos stressed that his church can not ignore any side that practices violence, noting that Hanna supports the "Palestinian violence."
The patriarch announced appointing the Greek Rev. Afikhous as a spokesman for the church instead of its Arab spokesman ( Hanna ). He continued that any position to be made by Hanna as from now represents just his personal position and not necessarily the Orthodox church which voices its sympathy with the victims of terrorism and violence.
Meantime, Orthodox Arab figures described the decision of firing Hanna as political rather than being pertinent to the church.
To this effect the Arab Orthodox community in Palestine issued an urgent statement in reply to the statement made by the Greek patriarch in which it called on the Greek foreign ministry to interfere to stop the patriarch. The statement stressed that Hanna will be the spokesman for the church whether the Greeks accept that or not.
The Arab Orthodox figures called on the Arab states which have relations with Greece to notify the Greek diplomacy with the grave consequences of what the Greek Patriarch had done. The Arab figures explained that a delegation will head for Jordan in order to meet with officials in Jordan to this effect. It urged the Orthodox Arab Christian communities in Palestine and Jordan to boycott the Greek Patriarch and to take deterrent measures against him, considering that the ( Greek) patriarch exploited the state of siege on the Palestinian authority to release his decision against Hanna.
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