July 28, 2014

Editorial: Who will pay the taxes?

From the National Herald: Judging from the massive, angry reaction of our readers so far, it is obvious that we have hit a nerve with our editorial in last week’s edition entitled “Give Us Your Property”, rejecting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s demand for “at least” a building from each one of our nine metropolises, in order, supposedly, to save the Patriarchate from the Turks. A prominent member of the community - who asked us to withhold his name - went so far as to cite this demand as the justification for taking the first steps towards launching an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church in America. While we fully understand his reaction, we do not see this as necessary. As we stated in this space last week: “We wish there was a nicer way to say it, but this demand by Patriarch Bartholomew has crossed the line. It is so unacceptable and offensive, but also so revealing of his designs on our Church and its assets, that it raises many questions about his relationship … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on CBS 60 Minutes: Text and video

Watch CBS News Videos Online Also see video "extras" on CBS site. Transcript from CBS via National Herald: Text of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's interview on CBS's '60 Minutes' (CBS) Would it surprise you to learn that one of the world's most important Christian leaders, second only to the pope, lives in a country where 99 percent of the population is Muslim? His name is Bartholomew, and he is the patriarch of 300 million Orthodox Christians. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey, the latest in a line of patriarchs who have resided there since before there was a Turkey, since the centuries following the death of Jesus Christ. That's when Istanbul was called Constantinople and was the most important city in the Christian world. But times change, and in modern Muslim Turkey the patriarch doesn't feel very welcome. Turkish authorities have seized Christian properties and closed Christian churches, monasteries and schools. His parishioners are afraid that the authorities want to … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: ‘I feel crucified’

Watch CBS News Videos Online (CBS) -- Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the 300 million-member Orthodox Christian Church, feels "crucified" living in Turkey under a government he says would like to see his nearly 2,000-year-old Patriarchate die out. His All Holiness speaks to 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon for a story to be broadcast this Sunday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Orthodox Christians trace their roots to the earliest days of Christianity but do not answer to papal authority in Rome. Bartholomew is, in effect, their pope. The Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey, dates back to Roman times, when the city, then Constantinople, was the center of Christianity. Since then, history has seen the Patriarch and the part of his church in Turkey - who are Turkish citizens of Greek ancestry - discriminated against in their traditional homeland inside what has become modern Turkey, where 99 percent of the people are Muslim. One and a half million were expelled … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on 60 Minutes

The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle announced today that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew "will be featured on the CBS News program 60 Minutes reported by Bob Simon, scheduled to air on Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 7 p.m. EST. The segment will focus on the Orthodox Church, the most ancient Christian church, and its development from its earliest years to modern times in what is now the Republic of Turkey." Commenting on the upcoming broadcast, Archbishop Demetrios of America said: "The appearance of the Ecumenical Patriarch on a program such as 60 Minutes is an extraordinary opportunity for the American public to become aware of our Orthodox Christian Faith. Millions of people who would otherwise have limited knowledge of the Orthodox Church will have the chance to see and hear the highest ecclesiastical personage of our Church in their living rooms. It is also a tremendous opportunity for our own Orthodox Faithful in the United States to see His All Holiness in a way that will … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch on Copenhagen

Interviewed on Al Jazeera: And a statement (Source: ANA-MPA): ISTANBUL -- Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called for a legally binding international agreement to avert the overheating of the planet, in a letter addressed to the leaders of the international community in view of the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen. Reaching a beneficial agreement within the framework of the international negotiations in Copenhagen is not only morally imperative for the protection of the universe but a path to social and economic survival as well, he underlined. "The action against the climate change should not be regarded as an economic burden but as a major opportunity for a healthier planet for the benefit of humanity as a whole, the underdeveloped countries in particular," the Ecumenical Patriarch stressed. "Profit, especially, short-term profit, should not motivate our actions more so when it downgrades our shared and God-given natural heritage," he … [Read more...]

Report: Turkey prepares to join EU in a building confiscated from the Orthodox

But first a word from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: "With Turkey anchored to Europe, we can anchor the world and extend peace and love and justice East and South. " Nat da Polis on AsiaNews.it: The new headquarters of the Secretariat for entry into the European Union is an old school of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy, seized in '90. Embarrassment of Erdogan government and Europe. Istanbul -- Unbelievable but true: the headquarters of the Secretariat for the entry of Turkey into the European Union is a building confiscated from the Orthodox Christian community in the 90s. The building is located in Istanbul, in the well-known area of Ortakoy, under the first bridge over the Bosphorus. Before the seizure, the building was used as a primary school for children of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy. Here, once lived a thriving Orthodox community, now non-existent because of past purges against minorities, executed by the "secular" Turkish State. Thanks to the policy … [Read more...]

Editorial: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew ‘crossed the line’

From the Dec. 11 National Herald (HT: Orthodox Christian Laity): Give us your property!!! The demand - for that is what it is, in essence - by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to our Metropolitans, presented in a letter signed by him, to transfer ownership of at least one building from each one of them to the Patriarchate, is a terrible idea and the request should be withdrawn immediately. If it is not withdrawn, then the metropolitans ought to make it clear to Barthlomew that for the sake of maintaining the unity of the church, and the ties to the Patriarchate, they will refuse to obey or even discuss it with the laity. If there should be a metropolitan who, acting to serve his narrow self interest, tries to pressure the parishioners into transferring a property of their community or the diocese to the Patriarchate, then the people should deny him his request and hold him in low esteem. Because, should this outrageous demand be obeyed, it could lead to the breaking … [Read more...]

Patriarchate Asks for Title to U.S. Church Property

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew wants legal title to properties around the world, but how would this, as the author below argues, secure the legal position of the the Patriarchate vis-a-vis the Turkish government? Further, with the request for metropolitans worldwide to apply for Turkish citizenship, the Ecumenical Patriarch seems to be distancing the Patriarchate from the other Orthodox churches given that the invitation was only extended to Greek metropolitans. The National Herald, December 11, 2009, By Theodore Kalmoukos, The National Herald Staff Writer BOSTON - The Ecumenical Patriarchate – in an official letter recently sent to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and its local Metropolises - requested the official transfer of the ownership of at least one real estate property belonging to each metropolis to the Patriarchate. Archbishop Demetrios of America and the metropolitans have yet to notify the parishes of the Archdiocese of the request of the Ecumenical … [Read more...]

Report: 20 Orthodox bishops apply for Turkish citizenship

Writing for AsiaNews.it, Nat da Polis in Istanbul reveals "very important" news: At the suggestion of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, there is the possibility of granting citizenship to the metropolitans of the Turkish Diaspora. This fact satisfies the ecumenical will of Bartholomew and unlocks the door to the possibility that in future a bishop who now resides outside of Turkey may be elected Ecumenical Patriarch. According to current rules, only those who have Turkish citizenship have the right to be elected to the patriarchal throne. Until now 20 metropolitans of the Diaspora have already applied for Turkish citizenship. In the eventual granting of Turkish citizenship to metropolitans of the Diaspora diplomatic circles see the first proof of the sincere will of the Erdogan government to be open to minorities. In fact, it must also be remembered that in mid-December the European Union will examine progress made by Ankara in its march towards Europe. da Polis actually filed … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: ‘Dark forces’ in Turkey plotted to assassinate minority leaders

By Yasemin Budak and Elif Kaya in the Nov. 26 Today's Zaman (HT: National Herald): Plotters planned to overthrow government by using us, says Bartholomew Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew has said dark forces planned to use minorities to overthrow the government as revealed in the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine organization accused of attempting to create chaos and undermine the stability of the country in order to trigger a coup d'état. Based in İstanbul, the spiritual leader of the world's approximately 300 million Orthodox Christians, Bartholomew was referring to the latest revelations of a devious plan, called the Cage Operation Action Plan, by a group of members of the Naval Forces Command aimed at intimidating the country's non-Muslim population by assassinating some of their prominent figures and in this way undermine the power of the ruling party. Recent incidents in İstanbul's Kurtuluş neighborhood and Adalar district suggest that the alleged plan had … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew greets Vatican delegation at the Phanar

Pat. Bartholomew and Card. Kasper

From the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle: Istanbul, Turkey 11/30/2009 His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed a Vatican delegation representing Pope Benedict XVI at the Thronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on November 30, 2009. The delegation, led by Cardinal Walter Kasper also delivered greetings to His All Holiness on behalf of Pope Benedict. The Ecumenical Patriarch's greeting on the feast of St. Andrew the First Called follows: Your Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, representative of His Holiness the Pope and Bishop of Rome, Benedict XVI, and your honorable entourage, It is with great joy that we welcome you once again to the courtyard of the Church of New Rome in order to concelebrate the sacred memory of its founder and protector Saint Andrew the First-Called of the Apostles. We express our heartfelt gratitude to our beloved brother in the Lord, His Holiness Pope Benedict of Old Rome, who deigned to delegate his representatives to the … [Read more...]

Benedict to Bartholomew: Unity through truth and charity, not power

Pope Benedict and Pat. Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received a message today from Pope Benedict XVI at the Phanar on the occasion of the Feastday of St. Andrew the Apostle. The pope's message was delivered by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. From AsiaNews.it: Following an old tradition dating back to Pope Paul VI, the two Churches send delegations to celebrate their respective patron saints, an Orthodox delegation coming to Rome on the Feast Day of SS Peter and Paul (29 June), and a Vatican delegation travelling to the Phanar for the Feast Day of Saint Andrew (30 November). Led by Card Walter Kasper, the Vatican delegation took part in the Divine Liturgy celebrated this morning in the Phanar by Bartholomew. At the end Cardinal Kasper, who chairs the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, handed the patriarch the papal message. The theological dialogue … [Read more...]