Istanbul, December 3, 2021
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople accepted yesterday the earlier decision of the Eparchial Synod of the Church of Crete to relieve Archbishop Irineos of his duties as primate due to his deteriorating health.
The Archbishop, 88, has suffered a number of health issues in recent years. He had to be treated for acute respiratory failure for nearly two months last fall.
In October, the Synod of the Church of Crete appointed three physicians to examine Abp. Irineos. Following the recommendation of the doctors, the Synod unanimously decided last week to relieve him of his duties, pending approval by the Synod of Constantinople, which the Church of Crete belongs to.
The hierarchs of Constantinople accepted the Cretan decision yesterday and called on the Eparchial Synod to begin the process of selecting a new Archbishop of Crete, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
The Constantinople Synod expressed its deep gratitude for Abp. Irineos’ many years of service to the Church.
As Ekklisia Online explains, all the hierarchs in the Church of Crete are eligible to become Archbishop, but in the end, three names will be submitted to the Synod in Constantinople, which will then elect the next Archbishop.