In Athens, Patriarch Will Make Peace with Archbishop Ieronymos

FILE - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of world's Orthodox Christians, holds a mass with newly-elected Archbishop of America, Elpidophoros and Archbishop of Australia Makarios, in Istanbul, Sunday, May 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

ATHENS – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will travel from his base in Constantinople and come to the Greek capital to meet Archbishop Ieronymos in what’s expected to be a unity discussion setting aside some issues between them.

The Archbishop had agreed to accept a plan from Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras for separation of Church and State that will give the Church in Greece some concessions, a move that surprised the Patriarch and divided Bishops.

Clerical sources not identified told Kathimerini that after a long period of tension between the two that the meeting is aimed at setting aside differences to ensure that “all that separates us is placed on the sidelines.”

During their meeting Ieronymos is expected to express the backing of the Church of Greece for the decision earlier in the year by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant independence to the Church of Ukraine from Russia, upsetting Moscow and critics.

That comes as a Church of Greece committee will weigh in on the issue of the Ukrainian Church’s independence.