July 24, 2014

Halki: ‘Same old story’

Nat da Polis, in a new report in AsiaNews, quotes a "senior lecturer" from the "almost non existent Orthodox community" in Istanbul on the Halki Seminary question. The lecturer, a Greek, expects little movement from Turkish authorities toward reopening the seminary. “In short it’s the same old story," says the lecturer. Full report follows: Despite Europe's request, Ankara continues to waver on Religious Freedom By NAT da Polis The head of EU enlargement has said that the accession process of Turkey also depends on the Halki school, an institution for the formation of the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, closed since 1971. The government remains silent, while the debate grows in the media. The real issue is the recognition of the status of the Patriarchate. Istanbul -- Rumours abound in Turkish press over the imminent reopening of the Halki Theological School, for the formation of theologians and the clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, closed suddenly in 1971, … [Read more...]

AsiaNews: ‘Historic’ decision in Chambésy

On the Roman Catholic site AsiaNews, Nat da Polis files a report on the Fourth Pre-Conciliar meeting of Orthodox hierarchs who assembled last week in Switzerland to discuss the problem of the "diaspora." Da Polis views the pending trip of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul as a "significant step" in sorting out the disarray. Story follows. Historic Orthodox decision, migrant communities to have their own bishops’ conferences Istanbul (AsiaNews) – The first of two meetings scheduled for 2009 was held in Sabezy [Chambésy, Switzerland, ed.] to prepare the much awaited Pan-Orthodox Synod. In agreeing to set up Bishops’ Conferences for Orthodox Diaspora communities, the meeting reached a historic decision. According to existing rules, Orthodox believers living outside their country of origin fall under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. However, the large-scale migration that followed the collapse of the Iron Curtain generated … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill to visit Ecumenical Patriarchate in July

The ANA-MPA news service is reporting that "the new Patriarch of Moscow, Kyrill will be on a formal visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople at Phanar on July 4-6. Patriarch Kyrill and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople will co-officiate in a mass, while the visiting Patriarch is expected to follow the example of his predecessor and visit Aghia Sophia." Here's a good backgrounder on the tensions that have existed between Moscow and Constantinople for years. The report in AsiaNews was a "table setter" for the Pan-Orthodox Synaxis held in October at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. From the article: The dispute between Moscow and Constantinople has been going on for some time: first in Rhodes (Greece) in 2007, when Moscow announced it would not take part in the pan-Orthodox Synod in 2008; then in Ravenna when Moscow’s representatives walked out of a conference because they objected to the presence of the Estonian Orthodox Church which Moscow does not … [Read more...]

More plans for Pan-Orthodox Synod

Asianews has an update on the preparatory meetings for a pan-Orthodox synod, which seems to be gaining momentum. After various mishaps, in 1961 a pan-Orthodox conference was convened in Rhodes, with significant pressure from patriarch Athenagoras, for the purpose of preparing an Orthodox synod. This conference was also followed by numerous obstacles, because as theologian Giorgos Tetsetis observes, the local Churches did not have a clear idea of what they wanted from the Synod. "It is time," says Fr. Tetsetis, a theologian for the ecumenical patriarchate, "that our Church finally realize that it is doing poorly as a whole. The Church needs an open and sincere dialogue. Because it is only then, with its rich tradition as a compass, that it will be able to emerge from its blind alley and together face its existential problems, which are becoming increasingly severe and complicated. It is only then that the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarch's initiative can be … [Read more...]