On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, the new Consul General of Greece Mr. Demetrios Angelousopoulos accompanied by Mrs. Christina Zacharioudaki of the Consulate visited Patriarch Theophilos III and expressed his thanks for the honor to be received at the beginning of his service in Jerusalem as well as the commitment of the Greek government to support the rights of the Rum Orthodox and all Christian Churches in the Holy Land.
The Patriarch and Fathers of the Holy Sepulchre Brotherhood received him warmly, expressing joy for the visit a few days before the feast of the Holy Cross, which Cross helps the Churches to face recent challenges. The Patriarch also referred to the unfair imposition of municipal taxes and the blocking of the bank accounts of the Patriarchate and other Christian Churches by the Municipality of Jerusalem.
Patriarch Theophilos described how all the Churches are cooperating to face these challenges for the benefit of the Christian congregations. He asserted how the Churches at one point a few years ago reached a difficult decision of closing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in protest to the unfair municipal taxes and water bills charges attempted to be imposed on the Churches by the Municipality of Jerusalem.
“Our problems do not arise from the State, the Government, nor the people of Israel”, Patriarch Theophilos said, “but from radical groups and elements within Israel”.
The Patriarch also referred to the project of the Sacred Edicule which was completed a few years ago, stressing that the Patriarchate’s attitude is to keep the Holy Places as places of worship, accessible to all.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem