The synod, the highest body in the Greek Orthodox Church, on Monday has elected a new Patriarch to succeed former Patriarch Irineos I, who was dismissed over selling church property to right-wing Jewish investors in east Jerusalem.

The new Patriarch, Theofilos is expected to return the east Jerusalem property leased or sold.

Court rejected request to prevent electing successor

The Israeli central court in Tel Aviv will rejected Monday the request by a group of the affiliates for the dismissed Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Irineos I, to prevent the Orthodox Church to elect a new Patriarch.

Elections will be held on Monday at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem.

The court rejected his request since it has no jurisdictions to rule on this issue because it is a conflict within the same sect, according to informed sources from the lawyer’s office, representing the church council.

This is the third appeal that Israeli courts reject regarding this issue.

The group appealed to the court against Irineos’ dismissal.  He was dismissed over the Church’s suspicions of his involvement in selling church property in East Jerusalem to right-wing Jewish investors.  Irineos insist that he is not involved in any sales deal.

The highest church council decided to demote Irineos from Patriarch to a monk which automatically disqualify him of being head of the church.

Irineos earlier asked another Israeli court to issue an order to canceling electing Metropolitan Cornelius as an interim Patriarch and to disallow the 17-bishop-church council to meet to elect a new Patriarch.

The judge said, Irineos did not tell the court at that time that he did not inform the court that he submitted the same appeal to the central court in Haifa which also rejected his appeal on July 19.

The Greek Orthodox Church has the biggest congregation in Palestine, Israel and Jordan.  Dismissing the Patriarch needs approval from Jordan, The Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Jordan and the PA have already ratified his dismissal, and approved the names of 13 candidates who will contest for the Patriarch post, yet Israel has failed to do so.

Some Israeli sources said, the PA and Jordan conditioned approving any of the candidates with the candidate sign a commitment to, if elected, cancel the sales deals that Irineos made.