Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in North and South America

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The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in North and South America as a jurisdiction comprised the parishes of the Church of Jerusalem represented in America by Archbishop Damaskinos of Jaffa. In 2008, by the agreement of the Constantinople and Jerusalem, this jurisdiction was dissolved and its parishes formed the Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities in the USA, directly answerable to the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.[1]


The churches belonging to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in North and South America were technically referred to as belonging to the Epitropia of the Holy Sepulchre in America since the Church of Jerusalem did not have any local resident diocese but is essentially a representational or diplomatic church (i.e. a metochion).

The Jerusalem Patriarchate had a long history in the United States dating back to the 1920s but recently become more established with the appointment of Archbishop Damaskinos of Jaffa as Epitropos in 2002. Under Damaskinos' leadership there was significant development. The jurisdiction included fifteen parishes and two monasteries, the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension (Resaca, Georgia) and the Monastery of the Holy Cross in East Setauket, NY, which served as the headquarters of the jurisdiction in America.

Tensions existed between this jurisdiction and the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, as the latter claims that Jerusalem worked to pull parishioners away from Antiochian (and Greek) parishes and into its own jurisdiction. The Ben Lomond crisis of 1998, in which an Antiochian parish in California split into two factions, one of which eventually made its way into the Jerusalem Patriarchate (including the re-ordination of some of the clergy), further exacerbated these tensions.

As a result, as of May 2, 2003, American Antiochian clergy are forbidden by their primate from concelebrating with American Jerusalem clergy (though not with clergy of the Jerusalem Patriarchate assigned to parishes in the Middle East).

On April 1, 2008, at a meeting between His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, it was agreed that those Palestinian and Jordanian communities of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem within the ecclesiastical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the United States belong under the jurisdiction of the Eparchy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem surrendered all jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere. To administer these communities, a vicariate named the "Vicariate for Palestinian-Jordanian Communities in the USA" was established directly under the Greek Archbishop of America.[[2]]


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