/ / Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilus III (Elijah Jannopoulos): biography

Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilus III (Elijah Jannopoulos): biography

Unlike the Catholic Church, where everyonethe bishoprics obey the Pope, the Orthodox patriarchates are local, that is, independent of each other. But it is impossible to deny the role of Jerusalem, the saint for all Christians of the city. After all, the first historical church was founded there. Therefore, the authority of the head of this patriarchy is undeniable. Who is at the head of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church? Today we will tell about him. Since his throne is in Jerusalem, and jurisdiction extends to Syria, Palestine, Israel and Arabia (the church itself is often called Zion), it can not be out of politics. The election of a new head is closely monitored by clerics and ministers of other orthodox local patriarchates. The statements of the Jerusalem primate often cause resonance in political circles.

Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilus

The Importance of Patriarchy in Christianity

Jerusalem is not in vain considered a saint for threeworld religions city. Particularly zealously it is worshiped by Christians of all denominations, for here the Son of God lived and preached. In Jerusalem, Jesus was crucified. Here He was resurrected. In this city on the day of Pentecost, through the descent of the Holy Spirit, the first Church of God was formed. Afterwards the apostles dispersed to different corners of the earth, preaching the Gospel to all nations. Therefore, the Jerusalem Orthodox Church is considered the mother of other orthodox patriarchates. The first bishop in it was Jacob the Righteous, who took the martyr's crown at the hands of King Herod. Since Jerusalem was constantly attacked and captured, the supremacy of its patriarchate was lost and passed to the leader of Constantinople. At the moment, in the diptych of the churches, it is number four in importance (after Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch). The full title of the leader is the All-holy and Beatitude Patriarch of the holy city of Jerusalem, all of Palestine, Arabia, Syria, the two-coasted land of Jordan, St. Sion and Kana of Galilee.

Ferfil III

Modern device of the local church

Jerusalem was often the victim of invasions. To protect holy places from destruction and desecration - all the heads of the local church saw their calling in this. To do this, they were forced to use all their diplomatic abilities. A turning point occurred in the 16th century, when the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Herman II, obtained from the Ottoman authorities a decree that all the Christian shrines of Palestine would be in the hands of the Orthodox from that moment on. In the same century, the monastic Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher was created. Only the monks who came from Greece inhabited the monastery. According to the position adopted in the middle of the 19th century, the Holy Sepulcher of the Lord remained in the hands of the Orthodox, while the Bethlehem Basilica of the Nativity of Christ was transferred to Catholics. Until the forties of the 19th century the patriarchs of Jerusalem were appointed by the Primate of the Church of Constantinople. Now he is elected by the Synod Cathedral. But they state in the rank of the patriarch of Jerusalem three secular authorities: Palestine, Jordan and Israel. A long history of the local church in it was replaced by one hundred and forty priests. At the moment, it is headed by the 141st Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilus the Third.

Patriarch of Jerusalem Irenaeus


The present head of the church in the world wore a nameIlya Yannopulos. He was born on April 4, 1952. By nationality the Greek. This alone has already served as a good starting point for a career in the patriarchate of Jerusalem. Most of the parish priests and believers in these lands are Arabs. But historically, the entire episcopate is elected exclusively from members of the monastic brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher. And this abode is inhabited by people from Hellas. Ianopoulos was born in the village of Gargaliani, which is located in Messinia (Greece). While still a teenager, at the age of twelve, he arrived in Jerusalem and settled as a novice in the brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher. From 1964 to 1970, Elijah studied at the Patriarchal School. The monastic monastic vows took in June 1970 from the Patriarch of Jerusalem Venedict I. As it is supposed to the monk, he adopted a new name - Theophilus, meaning "Loving God."

Jerusalem Orthodox Church

Career in the Church

Even in the patriarchal school the young novice showedGreat abilities and an unprecedented desire for knowledge. Therefore, after taking the tonsure, the church authorities decided that the young monk should continue his theological education. In 1975, he was sent to his homeland, Greece, to enter the theological faculty of the University of Athens. After graduation in 1978, the future Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilus was elevated to the monastic rank of archimandrite. But even here the young cleric decided that his theological education was not complete. In 1981, he entered the University of Durham (UK), where he completed his studies in 1986. After returning to Jerusalem, Theophil served for two years as chairman of external relations under the patriarchate. Later, he served as a representative of his church in a number of organizations. In 2001-2003, he was even an ambassador at the Moscow Patriarchate, although he rarely came to Russia. In the early 2000s he was appointed to the honorary position of the elder keeper of the Holy Sepulcher.

Messinia greece

The previous Patriarch of Jerusalem, Irenaeus

In the summer of 2001, at the Cathedral of the Localwas elected her ex-priest in Athens (responsible for the spread of the Holy Fire), the Archbishop of Hierapolis and a member of the Holy Synod, who was known in the world as Emmanuel Scopelitis. Being a patriarch, Irenaeus the First promoted the career of his successor Theophilus. But in 2005 the church scandal broke out. The Holy Synod accused the patriarch of Jerusalem Irenaeus that he gave the Israeli company long-term lease of real estate in the Old City. The primate refused to participate in the court. According to the resolution of the Synod, and then of the All-Orthodox Council, which met in Fanar, the patriarch was deposed, deprived of the priestly rank, demoted to monks and sentenced to imprisonment in his own cell. There he was seven years old, until he was forced to leave for health reasons to perform a surgical operation.

Ilia Jannopoulos

Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilus and his predecessor

The imposition of Irenaeus suddenly raised the presentthe high priest of the church. This allowed idle languages ​​to talk about the latter's involvement in the accusations that proved to be inadequate. But Theophilus III remained on friendly terms with the deposed predecessor. So, in 2015, Irenaeus suddenly appeared at the ceremony of the descent of the Holy Fire, where he was greeted and blessed by the present patriarch. By the way, he was visited by the primate of the Church of Constantinople, Bartholomew.

The political statements of the Patriarch of Jerusalem

On Easter 2008, the clergy and believers of the Russian Federation shockedsharp criticism from Theophilus III against Porfiry Uspensky, the founder of the Russian spiritual mission in the Holy City. He said that the latter is poisoning the believers' lives with the "poison of nationalism". The deacon Andrey Kuraev and the editor-in-chief of the "Church Herald" magazine saw in this statement signs of Russophobia. Over the past two years, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus, repeatedly met with the president of Ukraine, Peter Poroshenko, prayed for peace in this country and discussed the problem of uniting believers in a single local church.

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