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.

A Greek Orthodox priest lights candles of the faithful with Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem, at a church in Athens, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
A Greek Orthodox priest lights candles of the faithful with Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem, at a church in Athens, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

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.

Orthodox faithful light their candles with
Orthodox faithful light their candles with “Holy Fire” brought from Jerusalem, at a church in Athens, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
A Greek Orthodox priest lights candles of the faithful with Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem, at a church in Athens, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
A Greek Orthodox priest lights candles of the faithful with Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem, at a church in Athens, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Orthodox faithful attend a mass after the
Orthodox faithful attend a mass after the “Holy Fire” brought from Jerusalem was delivered to worshippers, at a church in Athens, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Orthodox faithful hold candles with the
Orthodox faithful hold candles with the “Holy Fire” brought from Jerusalem, outside a church in Athens, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

Xem thêm: