Ecumenical Patriarchate

Since January there is a drive by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to re-open the Theological Seminary of Heybeliada (Halki) in Istanbul. This seminary has been closed by the Turkish government even though it promised to permit its re-opening up till 2004. Currently under Turkish law, the Ecumenical Patriarch must be a Turkish citizen. But since the seminary is closed, and through discriminatory practices by the Turkish government which has whittled away the Orthodox population down to about 2,000 in Turkey, it is incredibily difficult to select the Patriarch.

Moreover, since 1975 the Turkish government has confiscated 75% of the Patriarchate’s properties. They have also lodged retoractive taxes of 42% on Church hospitals and other facilities since 1999. Details regarding other human rights violations and discriminatory practies by the Turkish government can be accessed at

Citizens in free countries of the West are urged to contact their elected representatives to influence the Turkish government to make good on its past promise to permit the re-opening of the seminary and protect the freedom of its Christian minority. American citizens are urged to contact their U.S. senators. The influence of western citizens will be especially potent at this point when Turkey is petitioning for entrance into the European Union.

8 Responses to Ecumenical Patriarchate

  1. Photios Jones says:


    Yes you are welcome to post this over at the Orthodox forum.


  2. Cyril says:

    Perry and Photios,

    With your permission, I would like to post your main post on the EP and the Turk on the Orthodox forum, along with a hyperlink. For one, I am more than happy to mak as much trouble for the Turk as possible, for while I am no fan of +Bart, I am certainly under him as a bishop, however small his parish. Further, I am the enemy of the Turk. Thus this may be a good way to get all of those people on the Orth Forum to get their minds off of all the problems in Syosset and think about where there are real problems.

    All the best,

  3. DeathBredon says:

    The E. P. just needs to close shop. He has no Empire or people to shepherd. Sneek all the valuables out of the Phanar in diplomatic puches and then go HOME to Athens. Bart could become a titular bishop of some unknown island and that is the end of that.

    Same for the Pope of Alexandria too (except he lives in Athens already!!)

  4. Cyril says:

    The question would be where would he move to? His existence was predicated on that of Byzantium, which is now gone. He exists in that he oversees numerous Orthodox throughout the world that are in no way even part of the old Byzantine Commonwealth, as they all have their own metropolitans and archbishops (with the possible exception of part of Ukraine). The EP seems to exist not for the sake of the Orthodox world, but for the sake of the EP. At one time he served a purpose as the pastor over those within the Ottoman empire, but those now all have their own autocephaly, and the Ottomans blinked out of existence with WWI. I think he spends most of his time plotting how to make life miserable for Moscow, Vienna, Kiev, Damascus and the American Church. He is far and away the most cozy with the WCC. Why? It largely seems he is making friends of the unrighteous mammon so that he has somewhere to go when the Turks expel him. I at one time was far more charitable, but last year I was in Norway. A young girl from Bergen had visited her family in Greece some years back, and was so moved by a convent there that she stayed. Now, years later, she wanted to lead a mission back to Bergen with some other nuns. They already had property donated to them. More land was donated to start a community for men, some miles away, who would have spiritual oversight as several hieromonks would be among them. This was all coming out of Athens. Guess what? Norway, with all of four or five Orthodox churches, is under the EP and his old school chum in Stockholm, Poulos (there is a Russian Church in Oslo under Met +Kiril but set up for immigrants, though it is largely converts), who put the brakes on the whole enterprise because this group would be answering to Athens and not to him and Poulos. The Orthodox I know in Norway have no use for almost any of the hierarchy (somewhat for Kiril, but even he is seen, not as a toady or apparatchik, but as someone who must mind his political p’s and q’s so not to upset either Alexy or Hilarion or either of the two diaspora bishops in Paris). Whenever I get discouraged about the OCA and the US church, I always think “At least I am not in Scandinavia.”


  5. Photios Jones says:

    So you guys think that the patriarchate should just move or what?

  6. Cyril says:

    Post Script

    I should add, that while no fan of the EP, I am hardly suggesting that we turn a blind eye to how the Turks have treated him. This same matter is playing out in spades in Macedonia and Serbia. Our State Dept might as well be a bevy of mullahs for all the backbone they have for the religion of pieces.


  7. Cyril says:

    I have had little use for Pat Bartholomew, especially in his making the senior senator from MD, Paul Sowerbrains, an archon of the Church. Yet such issues seem commonplace among some of the Greeks here in the States. One of the local Greek priests in Philly, when Dukakis was running for President, publicly reprimanded him for his stand on abortion. He was duly chased out of his parish. But we have as well some in the OCA who want to argue that abortion is only an ancillary concern and should be indexed below other things. This is hardly the least of the problems the OCA is facing at the moment. But back to the EP. It has been known for some time that both Athens and Moscow have been paying Greeks to leave Istanbul in order to give the Turks justification to kick the EP out. Already the number of Greeks is well below the number set by the Turks for allowing the EP’s presence in the city, 10,000. I for one am sad on historic grounds that it has come to this, though I think that this would help in some way the formation of one U.S. Church. At the moment, however, my heart does not well up within me at such a thought.

    And now, back to the filioque.


  8. Death Bredon says:

    Of course the Turks are doing what they are doing, and it is dispicable. But, the West gave them Istanbul after the Greece War of Independence, and they are not done making it completely Instanbul. Not exactly surptising. Perhaps the Greeks can at least black ball them form the EU!

    As the Ecumenical Patriarchate, it is pure role playing nonsense. The Roman Empire died 500 years ago!. And all the Turkey merits is a small mission in Instanbul for the few remaining Greek Orthodox there.

    If Black Bart wants to laud and decorate murders like Castro and pro-choice Senators, he needs to find another soap box. Orthodox Christians shouldn’t stand for it.

    Let’s face it, Moscow is the de facto and soon be the de jure center of global Orthodoxy.

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