On 22 August 2005, the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem elected a new patriarch to replace Irineos I, who was sacked over an alleged land deal with Jews in East Jerusalem that angered Palestinians and sparked a church crisis.
Theophilos III was unanimously elected by the 14 permanent members of the Greek Orthodox church's Holy Synod. According to church sources, two Israeli officials from the Religious Affair Ministry's Christian desk attended the ceremony, despite the fact that the Israeli government had not yet decided what position it would take on the election of the new patriarch.
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