Athens, November 11, 2021
The Church of Greece and the Patriarchate of Constantinople have been engaged in a legal dispute over the Church of St. George at the Probona Estate in Athens for several years now.
The Patriarchate attempted to prevent the Council from discussing the issue, but its efforts proved unsuccessful. And Patriarch Bartholomew wasted no time in expressing his displeasure after learning of the decision, dispatching Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon to place an unpleasant call to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens.
In turn, the Archbishop replied that he couldn’t accept the Patriarchate’s moves to take possession of the church, which seem like robbery.
The dispute over the church, which Constantinople wants to turn into its representation in Athens, or even an Exarchate, without the blessing of Abp. Ieronymos or the Greek Synod, was one of the reasons why the Greek Archbishop didn’t attend the Synaxis of Primates that was convened in early 2016 to prepare for that summer’s Crete council.
Relations seemed to improve after the Patriarchate visited Athens in 2019 and then Abp. Ieronymos acquiesced to Constantinople pressure and entered into communion with the graceless schismatics of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” However, the thorny issue has arisen again.
According to Ekathemerini’s trusted sources, Pat. Bartholomew may even cancel his planned trip to Athens later this month in honor of his 30th anniversary as Patriarch.
Besides its anti-canonical invasion of Ukraine, Constantinople also legally registered its own monastery/association in the Czech Republic in 2019 without the knowledge or blessing of the Czech-Slovak Holy Synod. The Patriarchate has threatened His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Prague for resisting this invasion.