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After his “escape” to Greece, shock and controversy over accusations of embezzlement by a Syrian bishop

With the spread of news of the accusations against Archbishop Elia Tohme and his travels, a few days ago, the Orthodox Archdiocese of Akkar and its dependencies suspended all the agencies entrusted to him, until the issuance of a circular and further notice, without disclosing the reasons for the arrest, according to a circular published on social media.

Northern Syria- The case of the Syrian Archbishop Elia Tohme is still the talk of the street and social media in Syria, after he was accused of fleeing to Greece and embezzling large sums of money from the Diocese of Wadi al-Nasara in the Homs countryside (in the center of the country), estimated at billions of Syrian pounds, including foreign aid funds sent to support the region.

And last Wednesday, Tohme left for Greece – of which he holds – without warning, leaving behind big question marks that opened the door to many accounts of his sudden travel and accusation of theft of huge sums.

Disagreements and achievement

According to pro-regime media, the case of Archbishop Tohme had repercussions prior to his exodus from Syria, as the “Snack Syrian” website reported what it called “church sources” saying that “the Archbishop had a personal dispute with a nun in the Archdiocese named Maryam Wassouf, before the dispute developed.” between them to the point of accusing them of moral transgressions and others related to integrity.”

As the accusations escalated to a large extent, the sources indicated that Archbishop Tohme submitted an official complaint against the nun Maryam Wassouf, who fled to Greece, leaving behind documents that were said to condemn the Archbishop.

Against this background, a tripartite investigation committee was formed into the accusations against Archbishop Tohme on September 20, 2021, by a decision of the “Patriarch of Antioch and all the East” John X.

cancel his power of attorney

Sources familiar with the case told Al Jazeera Net that the committee did not provide any clarifications or results to the public, and the details of the dispute and accusations remained secret until the day of the bishop’s travel, last Wednesday, when the leaks began to the local media.

As news of the accusations against Tohme and his travel spread, a few days ago, the Orthodox Archdiocese of Akkar and its dependencies suspended all the agencies entrusted to him, until the issuance of a circular and further notice, without disclosing the reasons for the arrest, according to a circular published on social media, issued on January 21 current second.

Despite the Metropolitan’s sudden travel and the emergence of the issue to the public, the Orthodox Patriarchate did not comment on any of the circulating news of denial or confirmation.

However, the “Antiochian Orthodox Center” for media said – in a statement – that “the concerned ecclesiastical authorities are following up everything related to this issue in accordance with the established procedures,” hoping for confidence that “the ecclesiastical authorities are dealing with the issue with all honesty and responsibility.”

“Spiritual Retreat”

Syrian journalist Muhammad Amin Mira considered that the case of Archbishop Tohme is tainted by some ambiguity, saying that “the statement issued by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East did not provide any clear information, and what was mentioned that Archbishop Elia is on leave for a spiritual retreat does not confirm or deny what has been done.” circulating accusations.”

Mira said – in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that the bishop’s sudden travel to Greece places him in the accusation box, especially since it is not known exactly the extent of his transgressions, “but at the same time these accusations cannot be confirmed, and what was transmitted from an old statement about a dispute between him and a nun may It is the basis of the case,” he said.

According to Mira, “the ecclesiastical authorities supporting the Metropolitan are required to comment and clarify cases of thefts at the very least, because they receive statements and financial reports that show where the money, which is said to be in the billions, is being spent.”

Bishop Tohme holds a civil engineering degree from Tishreen University. He also studied theology at the St. John of Damascus Institute, then obtained a master’s degree in Islamic studies from the Pontifical Institute in Rome, and a diploma in religious studies from the Jesuit University.

He obtained a doctorate in religious and Islamic studies from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and Tohme worked in the Diocese of Aleppo for two years, and the Metropolitan of Acre appointed him as his agent in the Diocese of the Fort in 2008.

The area of ​​Wadi al-Nasara – in which Tohme was the bishop of the Archdiocese – is located in the countryside of Homs (central Syria) and includes villages and towns with a Christian majority, and contains many churches and monasteries, the most prominent of which is the St.



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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