April 18, 2014

Patriarch Kirill: Happy Birthday to Putin

Highlights from Reuters: The "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" daily published an "Ode to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin" written in a style typical of poems devoted to former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. "The country is again at a crossroads wondering whether it might perish or not," the ditty reads. "We congratulate you comrade Putin and ask God to give you another 120 years." [ ... ] Putin handed over the presidency in May 2008 to handpicked successor Dmitry Medvedev. He took the more junior post of prime minister but he is widely believed to make all key decisions. The former KGB spy has become a devout believer since the collapse of communism and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill was among the first to congratulate Putin on his birthday. "Wisdom based on rich political experience, typical for you, is a guarantee of stability in our state," Kirill wrote in a congratulatory message carried by Russian news agencies. [ ... ] Igor Yurgens, who heads a think-tank working for … [Read more...]

Patriarch Bartholomew: Turkish Government Wants to Wipe Us Out

Asia News reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a new report "which denigrates the 'minority' presence of the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey, and refuses to recognize the 'ecumenical' character of the ancient patriarchate." It seems that the Turkish foreign ministry is trying to make the patriarchate "disappear," continuing to call Bartholomew I "the patriarch of Fanar [editor's note: the neighborhood where the patriarch resides]," refusing to use the title "ecumenical" and acknowledging only that he has spiritual responsibility for the domestic Greek minority, and not for the Orthodox communities connected to Constantinople. It also seems almost a concession from above to accept that Bartholomew I uses the title "ecumenical" abroad. Said the Patriarch: "We are not finished, or hopeless." The news service also cited a source who said that Turkey "was highly disturbed by the emphasis that the Russian media gave to the presence of ecumenical patriarch … [Read more...]