Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turkey: Reopening of Orthodox Seminary at Constantinople Soon

Edit: The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reports, on the other hand, that it won't because the Patriarchate refuses to compromise on "various formulas in the Constitution".  

 Metropolitan Lambrinidnidis has been named the new Abbot of the Trinity Monastery on Princes' Island.

Constantinople (kath.net/KAP) In Constantinople the expectations are increasing that the Orthodox Seminary and the Theological University on the Princes' Island of Chalki will be opened soon.  This is the sense in with which the naming of the Metropolitan of Bursa, Elpidophoros Lambrinidis, as new Abbot of Trinity Monastery, is being interpreted.  +Lambridnidis will take over the direction of the Seminary and the University.

Patriarch Bartholomaios I  held an Agape after a feastday Liturgy at Holy Mary's in Souda where he had a short meeting with Minister President Recep T. Erdogan on August 31st.  It was there that the government chief announced the return of the real-estate taken away in 1936 related to Christian "pious Establishments".

At the Agape the Patriarch said, that he is to have expressed his "contentment, his happiness and his gratitude", but also, that the non-Muslim minorities "are in expectation of important steps".  Erdogan is said to have answered:  "This is only the beginning".

If Turkey is a just state, it must proceed in the realm of justice and "not illegality",  insisted the Ecumenical Patriarch and made an indirect comment, that isn't just to "please" the non-Muslim minorities, but rather it is an amends for a serious injustice.

Erdogan's new disposition in respect to Chalki was already in August of the year before expressed by the past government chief Bülent Arinc in Constantinople at a dinner with the Ecumenical Patriarch and the members of the Christian "pious Establishments".  Arinc stressed many times that no one in Turkey should ever feel themselves to be a second class citizen. "For me personally and so long as I am the chosen representative of the government, that  there will be education available at the the reopened Seminary," said Arinc at that time.  Actually the Constitutional Courts have narrowly closed the legal conditions for the possible opening.  He hopes still that the reopening of the Seminary and the University might be realized in the conditions of the existing laws "without substantial exceptions" ,  says the serving government chief.

The Seminary on the Island of Heybeliada/Chalki is in the Marmara Sea near Constantinople, and has been closed since 1971.  Because the Ecumenical Patriarchate can't educated its own clergy any more, the personnel situation which has lasted for over 1,700 years is becoming more and more precarious.

Link to kath.net...

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