Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bartholomew I: Turkish bureaucracy is trying to make us disappear

The Ecumenical patriarch, the "first among equals" of all Orthodox hierarchs, has accused the Turkish government of trying to diminish his office.

' It seems that the Turkish foreign ministry is trying to make the Ecumenical Patriarchate "disappear," continuing to call Bartholomew I "the patriarch of Fanar [editor's note: the neighborhood where the Ecumenical Patriarch resides]," refusing to use the title "ecumenical" and acknowledging only that he has spiritual responsibility for the domestic Greek minority, and not for the Orthodox communities connected to Constantinople. It also seems almost a concession from above to accept that Bartholomew I uses the title "ecumenical" abroad. All of this has an impact on the juridical status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on its freedom to travel abroad, and to host foreign delegations in Turkey.'

It's quite amusing to me that the Turkish government thinks it's opinion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has any effect on how H.H. is perceived by the church. The Patriarchs of the church derive their powers and privileges from the church. For the Turkish government to think it has any authority over the same is laughable. Personally, I think the Ecumenical Patriarchate should be relocated to some place where the government is a little less silly, and natural rights are taken more seriously.

1 comment:

street theologian said...

The idea has been passed around to move the Ecumenical Patriarchate to someplace more relevant like NYC. In fact, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (somewhere between 1-2 million people) is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and not the proper Greek Church. Unfortunately, like in all things Orthodox (and sensible) this would create property and land disputes in Istanbul.