A lantern carrying a flame lit in Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher Church has been welcomed to Greece with honors reserved for visiting heads of state on the eve of Orthodox Easter.
But a senior cleric boycotted the ceremony, miffed that the holy flame wasn’t arriving at the airport within his territorial jurisdiction.
Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia told Greek network Skai TV he learned Friday that the plane carrying the revered object would land at a military airport instead of at Athens International Airport.
Nicholas said he thought the change of airports “degraded” the Holy Fire miracle that Orthodox Christians believe takes place every Easter at the site of Jesus’ tomb.
He decided not to join the official delegation that traveled to Israel on Saturday to collect the lantern.