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 his story to mark what he describes as the launch today of the “second pan-Orthodox meeting in Chambesy” following the most recent meeting in June at the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s center near Geneva, Switzerland.
The first meeting in June decided on the creation of Episcopal conferences in the countries of the Diaspora, who will refer to Constantinople; in today’s meeting – which will last one week – the issue of autonomy and the autocephalous nature of the Orthodox Churches will be discussed . In short the debate will centre of the cannons to define and accept the autonomy and autocephalous status of the new Churches within the spectrum of the Orthodox world. The meeting aims to resolve issues that have emerged in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent emergence of new nation states, whose churches have sought independence from the Patriarchate of Moscow, demanding so a return to the status they had before the birth of USSR.
In a statement released yesterday the desire to end anomalies that have arisen over the course of time, largely due to historical junctures and the consequent pastoral needs of Orthodox flock, was expressed. The deep desire of Bartholomew I to proceed quickly in order to convene the first major pan-Orthodox Synod of the modern era was also noted.
There are signs here that da Polis’ news article was composed as a “one-source” story. When you talk about churches that “have sought independence from the Patriarchate of Moscow” but neglect to mention that there may be some churches, too, that would like a measure of independence from the Ecumenical Patriarchate (although not at liberty to reveal my sources, I have talked to experts who confirm that there are indeed such churches) then you probably haven’t talked to enough people in the Orthodox Christian world. Perhaps da Polis’ source was making a not-so-sly reference to the situation in the Ukraine?
Unfortunately, I can find nothing, anywhere, to corroborate da Polis’ claim that a “2nd round pan-Orthodox meeting” at Chambesy is starting today (the Fifth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference?). Perhaps, if so, it’s a lower-level planning meeting for the episcopal assembly in May. If you have a source that tells us more, please post in the comment box here. Thanks.