Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Releases Statement on Israeli Ruling on Corrupt Sale

The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Christos Bonis)

JERUSALEM – On June 10, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled against the Greek Orthodox Church and in favor of a radical group, in a 14-year-old case relating to the corrupt sale of significant properties at the entrance to the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem. The Church is determined to continue to pursue the case by all legal means at its disposal, to preserve the Christian presence in Jerusalem and the principles of the Status Quo. A spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Church said:

“The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is very disappointed by the Supreme Court ruling on Jaffa Gate. Our legal team presented a clear case of bribery and corruption at the hands of the Plaintiffs, Ateret Cohanim. It is depressing that such corruption is not regarded by the court as having a material impact on the sales that resulted from it.

“The Patriarchate’s concern now lies both with the tenants of the properties in question, and with the continued Christian character of the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Patriarchate is committed to its continued support to the protected tenants of these properties, who are worried about their homes and livelihoods. Together with the other Churches of Jerusalem, the Patriarchate is committed to maintaining the Christian character of the Christian quarter, and unimpeded access to the holy sites for the hundreds of thousands of worshippers and pilgrims who visit each year.”


  1. Landmark properties at the entrance to the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, appraised at a value of $6.7M USD were sold, without due authority, by a rogue employee of the Greek Orthodox Church for $2.2M USD. The Church organs did not receive the funds.
  2. The properties were sold to four front companies, secretly controlled by the radical organization Ateret Cohanim.
  3. The sales were made without the knowledge of the Synod and the proper authorities of the Church, and without authorization, by an employee of the then-Patriarch, Nicolas Papadimas. Following the discovery of the deception, Papadimas, a convicted fraudster, stole church funds and fled the country – first to Greece, it is then believed that he travelled to Panama.
  4. Following Papadimas’ deception and flight, there is evidence of continuing cash payments made to him from Ateret Cohanim. The details of the financial arrangements between Papadimas and Ateret Cohanim, key to the case, were not revealed by the group.
  5. Key legal documents used by Papadimas as part of the deception were concluded by lawyers out of the same office as those acting for Ateret Cohanim.
  6. Ateret Cohanim claimed that despite the clear irregularities and fraudulent nature of the case, the contracts should be considered valid.



  1. The Patriach of Jerusalem lived in Constantinople until Nesselrode sent Uspensky to de-Hellenize the Antiochians and almost Jerusalem (eventually causing Michel Aflaq to found the Assad-Saddam Ba’ath party). It was the same Porphyry Uspensky who exposed the Sulphur fraud of the Holy Fire. It was the same Nesselrode who beat out Capo d’Istria. Uspensky and Kapustin went to buy up Jerusalem properties now under ROCOR to prevent Moses Montefiore (the Jewish Tositsas) doing so on behalf of the British. In February 8, 1993, the other patriarchs decided to temporarily suspend relations with the Jerusalem Patriarch and dismiss two bishops who acted as his deputies and defrock five priests for challenging the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Yet in April, 1990 Diodoros swindled Russian Jewish settlers by having Mardos Matossian sell them lands he was not allowed to sell and then denying their claim. Irineos wrote Arafat on July 17, 2001, stating, “You are aware of the sentiments of disgust and disrespect that all the Holy Sepulchre fathers are feeling for the descendants of the crucifiers of our Lord… actual crucifiers of your people, Sionists Jewish conquerors of the Holy Land of Palestine.” The supposed Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Antioch should be deported to Magog Muscovy – and the Aramean descendants of the original Christians, should be given full control over Holy Sites in the Holy Land. See: Theofanis Stavrou, Middle East Journal,

  2. A local church, i.e. a patriarchate, cannot dismiss bishops and defrock priests of another patriarchate.

  3. Based on the evidence provided by this article i can’ see a legal or moral justification for allowing the sale to go through. A crook can’t sell someone else’s property legally.

    This verdict does seems to be an illegal land grab by extreme religious nationalists (similar to what to what some Palestinian property owners have to go through when their properties are confiscated because someone in their family is found guilty of terrorism – collective punishment being illegal under international law)

    That said, its important to note this article doesn’t explain the justification behind the Israeli court decision. It’s important to always also provide the other side of an argument in a truthful manner — or else it only makes our own arguments appear motivated by religious nationalism rather than principle.

    What did the Israeli supreme court argue to justify the claim?

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