Health failing for former Patriarch of Jerusalem, appeals to enter gerontology center in Athens

Jericho, July 25, 2019


The former patriarch of Jerusalem, Irenaios (Skopelitis), was hospitalized in Jerusalem after suffering a pulmonary edema and cardiac arrhythmia and earlier this month. Although he was released the next week, his overall condition continues to worsen.

Iranaios was released to the Patriarchate on July 9 but was later transferred to the Monastery of St. Gerasimos of the Jordan in Jericho, reports Romfea. He had been living at the Patriarchate since 2008 after being removed from the primatial throne in 2005, having left his apartment there only a handful of times.

Despite the care given him by abbot Archimandrite Chrysostomos, the Jericho heat only aggravates his condition.

Thus, the former head of the Jerusalem Church appealed to the Greek Consulate to retrieve his passport, which is currently held by the Patriarchate, so he can travel to Greece and be admitted to the St. Porphyrios Center for Gerontology and Welfare Support in Athens, recently inaugurated by His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

His letter to the Consulate notes that he is unpaid and uninsured and that his sister has found him more than once lying on the floor after trying to get up in the middle of the night.

However, as Romfea reports, the Consulate refused to receive his letter because he signed it as Patriarch Irenaios, also saying it was a matter for the Patriarchate. The Church of Jerusalem also defrocked the former patriarch, returning him to the status of a simple monk.

He has also appealed to other Greek officials for assistance. Meanwhile, Abp. Ieronymos told media representatives today that the former patriarch is welcome to the center as long as necessary to fully restore his health.

The Greek primate has already informed the management of the gerontology center to take the necessary steps to be able to receive Irenaios on September 1 and to provide him the necessary care.

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