Showing posts with label Patriarch Bartholomew I.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patriarch Bartholomew I.. Show all posts

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Jesuit Waldenfels: "Francis Qualifies the Importance of Theology With Casuals Words"

(Munich), the German Jesuit Hans Waldenfels sees in the fact that Pope Francis has prayed in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, "an important signal" that he "welcomed".  Increasingly  " Francis qualifies the importance of theology with his gestures and his casual words," said Waldenfels and that is a good thing. "Disappointing" to  the German Jesuit, however, is the joint declaration of Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The emeritus Bonn fundamental theologian said yesterday, according to Catholic News Agency (KNA) about the "personal interiority" Pope's prayer in a mosque: "On Muslims such gestures have a positive effect and improve the atmosphere". Now it is to be seen whether Turkey grants Christians  relief. By prayer in the Blue Mosque, says Waldfels, the Pope had "expressed great respect for the place" a sign of.
"The question whether the Pope has now prayed 'by' or 'with' the Muslims is as theologically  subtle as whether the Muslims and Christians worship the same God," said the German theologian.

Prayer in the Mosque was "Positive Sign" for Muslims, the Rest are "Niceties"

Father Hans Waldenfels (left)
Finally, says Waldenfels, as Pope Francis belongs to the Jesuit order, applies the Islamic creed "There is no God but God" just as "God is God" for Christians. The perceptions of God although different between men, still applies across all differences of time: "You can pray  everywhere."
Also encouraging for  Father Waldenfels is  that Pope Francis is qualifying the "importance" of theology "with his gestures and his casual words". The Argentine Pope ranks the practice of faith and piety with theological debates. "Theology, which is not practical, is good for nothing in his view," which had not yet been sufficiently understood only in this country. 

Disappointing for  Jesuit Waldenfels on the other hand, is the joint declaration of the Pope and Ecumenical Patriarch last Sunday. It was merely, as in earlier declarations, only emphasized the  intention of unity, but it has brought nothing new. 
Text: CAPE / Giuseppe Nardi
image: Asianews / Catholic Academy Bavaria (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rabbi Skorka: Pope Francis and Judaism -- “We Dreamt, We Embraced in Front of the Wailing Wall"

(Buenos Aires / Jerusalem) Will Pope Francis meet the “mother of his personal faith" in Judaism?  That, at least is what   his Argentine friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka in an interview with the Jesuit magazine Civilta CattolicaPope Francis arrives in a few days with a colorful entourage to the Holy Land.
The Catholic Church leader is not only accompanied, as usual, by cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church, but this time also the honorary chairman of the Orthodox Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,   Bartholomew I. However, the most importantly will be  a personal friend of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka. The Vatican soon made ​​aware of a risk. The very obvious presence of a Jewish representative in the entourage of the Pope, who has   direct access to the Pope, boasting numerous interviews, could trigger irritation in the Muslim world in the Middle East.   Above all, the Muslim Palestinians could feel resentment . So there was a search  for an additional, Muslim travel companion. It is Omar Abboud, who will be the  representative of the Islamic community in Argentina. Abboud is a former Secretary General of the Islamic Center of Argentina .

Two Argentine Friends: Rabbi Skorka and the Muslim Representative Abboud

Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi said the Pope was accompanied by a Jewish and a Muslim agent with whom he is already in “a friendly dialogue” in Argentina .  In fact, Archbishop Bergoglio, Rabbi Skorka and Abboud took part as head of the Islamic Centre in the last ten years prior, as  the Pope's choice in numerous joint events part that stood as a  sign of inter-religious dialogue and were largely initiated by Cardinal Bergoglio.

Skorka About Francis: “We Dreamed of Embracing Before the Wailing Wall"

While Abboud was invited in April to come along on the trip has so far refrained from publicity, Rabbi Skorka has engaged in intense media activism since the election of Pope Francis.  In his recent interview for the Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica (Volume 3934 v. May 17, 2914: D he Pope, the Rabbi and the Holy Land ), he said: "Since the election of Francis we have met three times in Rome.”  In one of these meetings, "we began to dream of standing together in front of the Wailing Wall, embracing, to give you a sign despite the two thousand years of disagreements between Jews and Christians, and that I accompany him to Bethlehem to be close to  his mind  in such an important moment,  as a gesture of friendship and respect, to give all peoples and nations of this region an indelible sign of peace."
The interview with Rabbi Skorka led chief editor Father Antonio Spadaro, who led a now famous, but also controversial interview with Pope Francis last fall. Skorka also spoke of how Pope Francis see Judaism: "At the first meeting he said, pointing to me and pointed with his hand up: 'Our friendship and dialogue is the sign that it is'. And I added: 'You can create the path that leads to peace and the Rome and Jerusalem brings together more closely.' "

Skorka: "Bergoglio sees in Judaism the Mother of his Personal Beliefs"

In a conversation between Father Spadaro and the rabbi several names are called as witnesses for the Jewish-Christian dialogue, including the retired Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Lustiger. There are also  publications mentioned considered  by the Pope as  fundamental to the Jewish-Christian dialogue.  According Skorka prevails in Pope Francis especially "an expectation of the church to a Jewish response to the document Nostra Aetate of the Second Vatican Council, an adopted by the majority of the Jewish people manifesto, which answers the question: What does a Christian for a Jew ? "
When asked Spadaros, as Pope Francis see the Jewish religion, Skorka replied: "The many things that I have seen and experienced around Bergolio additionally prompted me to say that he sees Judaism as a mother of his faith. This is not merely an intellectual exercise, but a feeling, which is an important component in his personal faith.”   This statement is in need of explanation. according to the Catholic understanding of  pre-Christian Judaism (Israel) has risen in Christianity and found its completion. Post-Christian Judaism, however, is that Pharisaic cleavage of the original Judaism that rejects Christ as the Messiah. But what Judaism did  Skorka mean?

Pope Reads Rabbinic Writings and is Shaped by Them?

The Rabbi pointed at the same time then that "some viewpoints and findings of Bergoglio" obviously agree with rabbinical writings, which he wants to suggest that Pope Francis has read rabbinic or is reading and was influenced by them.
Other parts of the conversation related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of this Skorka said: "I do not expect that Pope Francis will solve all problems between Palestinians and Israelis, nor all the conflicts of the Middle East and the world." The "true power of the Pope is the credibility that he  has in  his family and the understanding of this awakened in others."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Vatican Insider / Centro Interreligioso Buenos Aires
Trans: Tancred

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Patriarch Bartholomaios I. Speaks Against the Use of Hagia Sophia as a Mosque

Rome / Istanbul (Catholic news / CBA). The Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I is opposed to a conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The late antique building was "built to bear witness to the Christian Faith," the honorary head of world Orthodoxy said, according to the Vatican Press Office Asianews (Thursday). "If it returns to serve a religion, it can be no other than the Christian one." Bartholomew   commented on the opening of a summit meeting with other Orthodox church leaders at his official residence in Istanbul, the Phanar. Several politicians had brought it into the conversation with a view to the local elections in late March in Istanbul, among others by the ruling AKP of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to re-use of the Hagia Sophia as an Islamic place of worship. The Ecumenical Patriarch called the Hagia Sophia a testimony to the "historical and continuing presence of Christian thought in this country." To the claims for reopening the building as a mosque, he said: "We stand against this, however, and with us, all Christians, whether Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant." Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th Century on the site of an earlier building under Constantine by the Emperor Justinian I (527-565), and it later served as the coronation church of Byzantine rulers. After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it was converted into a mosque. The founding president of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1934 ordered its conversion into a museum.

 Source: © CBA. All rights reserved
 Photo: Bartholomew I - Image source: Wikipedia / Massimo Finizio

  Link to Kathnews...

 Trans: Tancred


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Orthodox Churches Seek Closeness -- Synaxis Meets in Constantinople

(Constantinople) The Orthodox seek unity with one another. The assembly of Primates of the Orthodox Church has begun In George's Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.  The Patriarchate of Moscow thereby is also searching for the solidarity and support of Orthodoxy  in the Ukraine crisis and will probably get it.
In Constantinople, now Istanbul, today, the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches has opened. This is something  the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has invited    - not without some rumblings of the Russian Orthodox - to discuss a meeting of the Holy and Grand Council, the whole Orthodox  Church that could begin, after 50 years of announcements and preparations, perhaps in 2015.

Will the Holy and Grand Council of the Orthodox Take Place?

The crisis in Ukraine, which is also an East-West conflict, are of particular importance to today's meeting to understand the direction in which the inner- Orthodox  relations between the autocephalous Churches could develop in the coming years, but also the ecumenisml between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church.
A number of recent signals suggest that in the three-day meeting at the Phanar, at the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Orthodox Churches  will move closer together after years of bickering and divisiveness  and consolidate again its close internal unity.. It features a new dynamic of recovered unity with a Divine Liturgy celebrated on the 9th of March, Sunday, the day of the " Triumph of Orthodoxy ". This still refers to the first millennium triumph of the veneration of icons against the iconoclasts, but in a broader sense, the triumph of Orthodoxy over the heretics. It is the triumph of the "small, persecuted flock," a "triumph of the martyrs and confessors," as it committed to Orthodoxy.

Ukraine Crisis is Leading to  Inner-Orthodox Closeness

For a long time the participation of the most influential Orthodox Church leader, Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow was not certain. Yet the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia has finally traveled to Istanbul. For him, it comes to receiving the support of all the Orthodox Primates for the second part of his title. According to Moscow's understanding of the tripartite Russia (Great Russia, Little Russia, Belarus), his primacy extends not only to the state of Russia and ethnic Russians but also through Ukraine and Belarus. The question of the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which during the crisis has come down on the side of the anti-Russian independence movement is, therefore, not to affect the assembly.

Patriarch Filaret was on the side of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry over Martyrs' Square in Kiev

As it stands, all canonically recognized Orthodox Churches will continue to repudiate a canonical recognition of a Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate independent of Moscow headed by Patriarch Filaret of Kiev. Filaret, has been Russian Orthodox Metropolitan since 1966, he became after 1990, after the death of Pimen I his successor as Metropolitan of Kiev and throughout Ukraine. When Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Filaret called  for the autocephaly of the Orthodox church in the country, which  Moscow rejected. In 1995, he called arbitrarily for Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Patriarch of Kyiv and all Ukraine .
This division of Orthodoxy in Ukraine has continued still, so that today  three feuding Orthodox Churches face each other. Only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is officially recognized, to which appends still the majority of Orthodox believers. Filaret was excommunicated in 1997 by Moscow and returned to the lay state.  Despite various attempts by anti-Russian Ukrainian politicians speaking of  the recognition,  the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, has  not previously affirmed it. Although  Ukrainian he has had 20 years of independence, the Kiev Patriarchate  has not expanded its position, since the majority of Ukrainian parishes and monasteries belong almost entirely to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Filaret is Considered in Canonical Orthodoxy as Excommunicated Schismatics

Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv remains in the eyes of the recognized Primates as one excommunicated, who is also accused of giving titles and jurisdictions to schismatic groups and strange creations  imparting to secularized priests to self-appointed priests and vagrants, dealing moving in various countries outside the Church control. There is talk of a "schismatic International," calling into question the apostolic succession of the Orthodox Churches undermines in some parts of the world and place. An expression that reflects the mood within  canonical Orthodoxy on the subject.
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry these days made his walk across the Martyrs' Square in Kiev, he was accompanied by various Ukrainian religious leaders. Right next to Kerry, more visible than any other, was Patriarch Filaret. On the Russian side, Patriarch Kirill I tried to restrain the conflict in Ukraine. All the more so, since Archimandrite Chaplain of Russian Military had designated the  intervention in the Crimea as a "peace mission".  Additionally, Kirill said: "Our nation is composed of people with different perspectives and political convictions, including those which are being  faced on  the barricades. The Church is located at the side of any party in the political struggle."  These words are a message to Metropolitan Onufry  they contain the current locum tenens of the Moscow Patriarchate in Kiev.

Moscow is Seeking Assistance and is Willing to Grant Such

Not only Moscow but also the Ecumenical Patriarch urges a closing of the Orthodox ranks. This not only has to do with the Ukraine crisis. At the same time, the unity will also strengthen the role of Bartholomew as primus inter pares, and thus guarantor and coordinator of Orthodox unity. Therefore, the "foreign minister" of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion found many words of praise and grateful appreciation for Bartholomew and also Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamon, the major theologians of the Ecumenical Patriarchate .

Hilarion: "We must identify the problems of the world today, not those of the 70s"

Hilarion expressed in the preparatory meetings currently in session  at the Synaxis the full readiness  to participate for the  first time in the preparation of the Holy and Grand Council, which has been considered by Moscow with little attention in the past: "New realities, new problems have emerged and we must, for our flock  and the world, identify the problems  that approach  us today and not those which concerned the Orthodox Churches in the 70s and 80s of the last Century. "

Impact on the Primacy Issue between Orthodoxy and Catholicism?

Whether the new unity of Orthodoxy will have an impact on the willingness of Moscow to talk with the Catholic Church on primacy remains to be seen. Recently,  Moscow has been deaf on this topic therefore, and for thus it did not recognize the leading role of the Ecumenical Patriarch in this question.  However, there seems to e a relaxation in progress between Moscow and Constantinople. 
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Vatican Insider
Trans: Tancred

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pope Francis to Travel With Rabbi Skorka to the Holy Land on May 2014 -- Skorka Utters Nonsense About the Pope

Edit: basically, it looks like these reports by Jewish leaders, organizations, publications and some Catholic ones, are not credible.

(Rome) Pope Francis is to visit on the Holy Land 25th and 26th May, according to CNN reports, citing Israeli sources. He is not to do it with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as hoped by Constantine Opel, but with his Jewish friend, Rabbi Abraham Skorka. Skorka recently gave an interview about his days as a "personal guest" of the Pope in the guest house Santa Marta and utters some veritable "nonsense" about Pope Francis. Or not?

The visit of the Pope to the Holy Land, was recently confirmed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal for 2014, without so far announcing an exact date.

To the Holy Land Not with Patriarch Bartholomew, but with Rabbi Skorka

Pope Francis has long been already thinking about a trip to the Holy Land. Originally it was just after his election that he would visit together with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople the holy sites of Jesus. A gesture in memory of the joint meeting in Jerusalem of Pope Paul VI. and Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964. An event that could be found in 2014 to take place exactly fifty years later, so the desire of Constantinople. A sign to make the special closeness between the Roman and Byzantine church could be made visible.

But this idea soon appeared in the background. Instead, Pope Francis looked around for a personal tour guide. He contacted his friend, the Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka, with whom he had worked as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on a conversation book, and invited him to accompany him on his journey to the Holy Land.

Skorka: "The Pope Has Celebrated the Beginning of Shabbat in the Vatican"

Skorka said in an interview for the Jewish monthly Pagine Ebraiche, was completely reproduced in the Osservatore Romano in its issue of 25-26th of November, which he gave, when he met at the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome, as a "personal guest of Bergolio in Santa Maria":

"We were close for a few days, the three daily meals and have shared other moments both public and private. We talked about everything: about dialogue, but also about the journey that we will do together to Israel [...] Together we have celebrated the beginning of Shabbat, he was by my side when I recited the Kiddush and has broken challah, which Zion Evrony, the Israeli Ambassador, brought to the Holy See. They were unforgettable days and I think that they have a value that goes beyond the affection and confidence that has always connected us."

In the interview, Skorka always speaks of Pope Francis as Bergoglio. Likewise, he does not speak of a trip to the Holy Land, but of a trip to Israel, which is considered another territory in extent and possible destinations and represents a delicate question. In September, the President of the National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has invited the Pope to Palestine. On Monday, Pope Francis will receive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will in audience.

The Skorka interview is interesting because of the unusually harsh criticism were expressed by the rabbi against the "World rabbbinate  in all its parts," which in his opinion "is going through a deep and destructive crisis"  both in "Israel" as well as "in all communities of the Diaspora."

  Skorka sees "Ideal Judaism" According to Rabbi Heschel, Who Worked on Nostra Aetate

 "The Church is in crisis, we are in a crisis," said Skorka who sees the "model of the ideal Judaism" which is "according to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel." Heschel, born in 1907 in Warsaw and died in New York in 1972, who together with the German Cardinal Augustin Bea, was instrumental in the "Jewish declaration" of the Second Vatican Council in the Declaration Nostra Aetate concerned with the relationship of the Church to non-Christian religions. In 1971 he was called by Pope Paul VI. and received in audience.

Most Important Signal of this Pontificate? "The Rejection of Proselytism"

However, as Skorka draws a parallel between his proposals for a reform of Judaism and those of Pope Francis for the Catholic Church, the rabbi responds to the question about the new pope's "important signal": "I see great value in Bergoglio's comments against proselytism. It is a point on which he insists with a special emphasis and gets even more weight when we think of the evangelizing framework within which these statements were made."

Pope Francis wants to Only Introduce More Catholics to Faith"?

 Skorka has in an interview then that one must remember how evangelization was until recently connected inseparably with proselytism:

"But now, the Pope speaks of it only to introduce Catholics to the faith."

The rabbi emphasizes in an interview several times that Pope Francis rejects "proselytism". However, as the Vatican expert Sandro Magister draws attention, something is wrong in the end quite complete, when Skorka concludes with the statement: "Now, however, the Pope speaks of it to introduce only the Catholics to the faith."

L'Osservatore Romano Printed the "Nonsense" Without Batting an Eyelash?

"Only the Catholics?" Asks Sandro Magister. "The Osservatore Romano reprinted the interview without batting an eyelash. But how could Pope Francis ever say such nonsense?" asks the Vatican expert.

Overall, it is striking that since this pope took office Jewish representatives are often at the Vatican in and out. With the Skorka interview, who says he is reproducing a statement of Pope Francis, is in the last three months already the third controversial statement that was made ​​public after a meeting with the Pope by Jewish representatives (see the report What has Pope Francis really say as chairman of the World Jewish Congress - Violent polemics in Poland and the report Pope Francis Condemns Catholic protest against syncretistic "commemorative liturgy" in Buenos Aires A riddle? .

Text: Settimo Cielo / Giuseppe Nardi
 image: Settimo Cielo
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oldest Russian Church in Istanbul Threatened: Moisture and Large Turkish Projects

(Istanbul) On 2 August Christians gathered in the ancient Russian Elias chapel to celebrate the feast of the Old Testament prophets, according to the Julian calendar, the Catholic, Orthodox and Armenians commit it to the 20th of July. But in Turkey all Christian affairs are complicated. The chapel, which is located in the attic of a former monastery, may not be used for the liturgy for about 40 years. The Russian community of Istanbul, the ancient Constantinople, now wants to revive the chapel. The movement came into being as plans became known to demolish the former monastery and chapel.

In Istanbul there are three Rus Kiliseleri associated along ethnic lines. All three belong to the small Belarusian community on the Bosporus. And all three are in the possession of the monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mount Athos, better known as Rossikon. However, they are administered by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Elias chapel is the oldest of the three Rus-chapels Istanbul. It was built 135 years ago in the typical style of the 19th Century. As the Rossikon, the Russian monastery on Mount Athos of monastic Russian refugees was founded after the Mongol invasion, was the Elias chapel after the October Revolution of 1917 the spiritual center of the Russian exiles in the city.

Russian Elias chapel in the attic of a former monastery, which is now availed business.

The chapel houses frescoes, icons, traditional iconostasis, but the damage from moisture and lack of maintenance. The frescoes are largely lost. Preserved is a crucifix and a depiction of Christ near the altar. For the restoration 100,000 Turkish liras are estimated according Kazmir Pamir, spokesman for the Belarusian Association PAE Fukaraperver, says the Turkish press.

The Athos monks have a Turkish company for the repair. Exactly how and when the restoration is to be done, there are no details from Turkey. "The liturgy on the 2nd of August is the first step," said Pamir. "Maybe we can soon celebrate a baptism or a wedding. The Church is alive, she has just made another first breath."

The repair is not the only problem for the Belarusian community. How Kazmir Pamir explains the chapel in the Turkish official registers will be seen as business premises. In fact, the former monastery now houses shops and offices.

The chapel could soon fall victim to the Turkish construction boom. The city administration has a plan for a large project in Galataport on its desk that will transform the historical neighborhood of Karaköy radically, situated on the European shores of the Bosphorus. The project envisages the privatization of the existing port of Salipazari, the construction of a tourist harbor front, plus hotels and a large shopping center. The Dogus Holding is active in banking, construction and communication sector, has received the contract last May to implement the project, which is currently estimated at 702 million dollars.

Galata port is only one of several government projects whose the appearance is the sign of Istanbul tourism, large infrastructure and re-Islamization. These projects gave the initial impetus for the anti-Erdogan protests that erupted in May in Gezi Park and on Taksim Square. The Government remains committed to the projects and speaks of the "inevitable necessity" because of population growth and to stimulate the economy.

Efforts to rescue and repair of Elias chapel could also lead to a rapprochement between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Holy Mass on the 2nd August was celebrated as a Greek priest. "The Russian Church recognizes the authority of the Patriarch Barthalomeos over the chapels of Karaköy," says Kazmir Pamir.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Vatican insider / Bora Arasan
Trans: Tancred

Link to katholisches...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pope and Patriarch of Constantinople Will Travel Together to Jerusalem

Pope Francis has accepted the Orthodox Leader’s offer to make a common trip to Jerusalem, in addition  he will publicly visit the See of the Patriarchate in Constantinople.

Athens/Vatican City (  Pope Francis (76) and Bartholomew I (73) of Constantinople will make a common trip to Jerusalem. next year.  The Pope has accepted the corresponding proposal of the Greek Orthodox Head, reports the Greek news site "NewsIt" this Wednesday.  This trip will commemorate the historic meeting between Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI. 50 years before.  Their meeting in Jerusalem lead to the lifting of the mutual excommunications, which had stood since the schism of 1054.

At the same time Bartholomew I. invited the Roman Pope according to the report, to visit the Phanar, the seat of the Patriarch in Constantinople.  Francis has also accepted this visit.  An official invitation still has to go through diplomatic channels, it says.  Both Church leaders had met in the context of an ecumenical meeting for the new Pope in the Vatican on Wednesday.

Additionally, the two Church leaders, “NewsIt” says, agreed to develop common initiatives for the protection of the environment.   Patriarch Bartholomew I. urged that Francis and he might go together to open a planned event in 2015 for the defense of creation on Mount Athos.  The outcome should be shown in an exhibition in the Quirinal Palace.

Bartholomew I. is known for his ecological engagement. For this reason, he is also known by the media as the “Green Patriarch”.  Francis had mentioned the protection of the environment in the sermon for his inaugural Mass.  Francis of Assisi (1181/82- 1226), for whom he chose his name, is the Patron Saint of environmentalism.

Initially reported by Rome Reports:

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 ( 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

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Istanbul: Possible Attack Against Ecumenical Patriarch Thwarted

Editor: Good work by the Turkish police, and the individual who made this known to them, thus preventing it from happening.

Two youthful perpetrators are in custody.

Ankara ( The police have thwarted an attempt to attack one of  the most highly positioned Christian leaders in Istanbul, possibly against the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomaios I.   As the Turkish press reported on Monday, there were two suspects apprehended of the age of 17 and 18 .

Both men, who were armed when they were apprehended, explained afterward their intention that they wanted to become famous.  The media was expected to encourage parallel  murders of other Christians in Turkey, which would in any case have been encouraged by the youth.

The police were alerted about the plot through an anonymous E-Mail.  An acquaintance of the suspects alarmed the authorities that both young men wanted to murder an "important" Clergyman in the district of Fatih.  In Fatih, the Armenian Patriarch has his seat as does the Ecumenical Patriarch, the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity.

A number of newspapers recalled the Priest Andrea Santoro, the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and three protestants in east Turkish Malatya, as well as a German missionary:  they were murdered by men between the ages of 16 and 20.

Read further... 

Other Articles about "Religion of Peace"

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-Turkish Hackers Attack Cyrpus Companies

Ewald Stadler's Speech about Turkey in Parliament:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Turkey: Bartholomew I Sees Hope For the Ecumenical Patriachate: And Reunion

Patriarch Bartholomaios I hopes for the re-opening of the Seminary of Chalki by 2011 -- 15 Diaspora-Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including Metropolitan Staikos of Austria, have Turkish citizenship.

Constantinople ( Bartholomaios I, Greek-Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, sees signs for an improvement of the situation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey. In an interview with "Kathpress" on Monday afternoon in the Phanar in Istanbul he said, it is very certain, that the Seminary in Chalki will be reopened in 2011. Bartholomew referred to the most recent address of the Turkish Vice Prime minister Bülent Arinc, who had explained in a TV-Interview, that Chalki must be re-opened again, because Christians in Turkey had the right, to educate their own Clergy and Theologians.

Chalki was closed in 1971 by the Turkish Authorities in a train of prohibitions against private Schools. While private Universities were in the mean time, however, allowed for a long time to open, the same did not apply to Chalki. The reopening of the Seminary belongs also to the central requirements by the EU of Turkey in connection with discussions for entry to the EU.

After 40 years it has been pressing on time, to address their own priest shortage by educating them again, said Patriarch Bartholomew I. He is much more optimistic than earlier, that the Turkish Government will finally make the way for reopening free.

As another very positive signal on the side of the Turkish Government the Patriarch cited that the Turkish Government has reinstated the citizenships of 15 Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who are active abroad; among them is also the Metropolitan of Austria, Michael Staikos.

According to a Turkish proposal the Patriarchal Office may only be occupied by one of Turkish citizenship. Not least because they were in any case only 15 more Bishops for the office in question, of whom 11 are already over 70 years old.

Recognition of Ecumenical Dialogue

The Patriarch did not want to directly address the most recent full assembly of the Catholic-Orthodox Dialog commission, which was held in Vienna and took place without substantial progress. He has still not been informed over the particulars of the Dialog. He reinforced, however, the desire of the Orthodox to travel further along the way of Ecumenism, till the full unity of the Church is finally reached.

He also reinforced this assertion with the consideration that the Orthodoxy
was resolved in its own Synod in the Phanar, to take up the dialogue again, following when the 2000 Full Meeting of Baltimore was put on ice.

But not only with the Catholic Church, we also strove for dialogue with the Reformed and Oriental churches, said Bartholomew I.; The same is also valid for relations to Islam and to Judaism. What especially leads to this dialogue, is that it requires a sound education, and therefore, the re-opening of Chalki, maintains the Patriarch.

Positive Signals and Unresolved Problems

As a positive signal, observers also recently noted the willingness of the Turkish authorities that the Orthodox Church henceforth once a year -- on the 15th of August -- may celebrate a church service in the Cloister Church of Sumela south of the Black Sea City of Trabzon. There were 1,500 Christians who came to Sumela for the first Mass in 88 years. Patriarch Bartholomew I. presided. The church was despoiled since the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922 and became thereafter a cultural monument.

The Turkish Minister President Tayyip Erdogan had rejected pressure from nationalist circles critical of the service. Turkey has nothing to lose if a thousand or two thousand Christians were to come and celebrate their Service, Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Turkish media.

A great problem remains still in the unresolved question of the rights of recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. The Turkish authorities recognize neither the title of the Ecumenical Patriarch, nor the responsibility of the Patriarchate for entire Orthodox world. They officially view Bartholomew I. merely as the highest Pastor of the few thousand remaining Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey.

While in any event the already small number of Greek Orthodox faithful in Turkey is conceived as consistently sinking, around 3,5 Million believers in parts of Greece as well as in the Diaspora in North- and South America, Middle and Western Europe and Australia are directly under the authority of the Patriarchate.

Copyright 2010 Katholische Presseagentur, Österreich. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

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