The Greek Orthodox patriarch in the Holy Land announced Saturday that his church will appeal an Israeli court decision that approved the sale of prime church property to companies representing Jews seeking to expand their presence in Jerusalem's Old City.
Previous Greek Patriarch Irineos I after being briefly imprisoned and deposed by the Greek Orthodox Church for unsanctioned real estate transactions (Photo: AP)
Theophilos leads a predominantly Arab flock of 220,000 Christians in Jordan, Israel and the PA-controlled territories.
The patriarch also expressed concern about what he said was an effort by some members of Israel's parliament to restrict the rights of his church and other Christian denominations in the Holy Land to deal independently with their real estate holdings.
In recent years, there have been growing tensions between the predominantly Greek church leadership and the Arab flock, including over the administration of the vast property holdings and land leases to Israel in west Jerusalem.