Report: Greek Orthodox bishops in U.S. may take Turkish citizenship

Theodore Kalmoukos of the National Herald is reporting that “the government of Turkey seems to be willing to grant Turkish citizenship to all those hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who serve outside of Turkey. Turkish citizenship will allow them to freely participate in all the administrative activities of the Patriarchate including the right to be candidates for the Ecumenical Throne when a vacancy arises. It was made clear by the Ecumenical Patriarch himself that ‘they will have the right to elect and to be elected.’”

Flag of Turkey

Kalmoukos said that no American bishop has yet to “express an opinion” on the matter:

The issue was brought up at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate and official letters were sent recently to hierarchs serving outside of Turkey urging them to file – if they so wish – their applications to become Turkish citizens. Patriarch Bartholomew brought the letters with him when he came to the U.S. on October 21 and gave them to Archbishop Demetrios to send to the hierarchs of the Archdiocese.

[ … ]

It is noted here that a hierarch cannot participate in two Synods. Until a few years ago only Turkish citizens were allowed to participate in the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but Patriarch Bartholomew changed the rules so that at any given time six hierarchs from Turkey serve six month terms and six others from abroad serve one year terms. This development has been met with mixed reactions from hierarchs of all categories. Sources from the island of Crete told The National Herald that the hierarchs there have expressed some uneasiness because of fears that the local population will wonder about the loyalty of hierarchs who would be potentially under the influence of the Turkish government.

None of the hierarchs of America have yet to express an opinion. Concern has also arisen among high ranking officials of the Phanar since such a substantial increase in the number of eligible hierarchs will dramatically affect the dynamics of future patriarchal elections. Until now only Turkish citizens had the right to be candidates for the Patriarchy and only the Turkish members of the Holy Synod were allowed to vote. The hierarchs outside Turkey used the so-called “symsifon” meaning that they simply expressed their consensus on the decision of the Synod in Constantinople.

Furthermore, the Synod at the Phanar was obligated to submit the official list of candidates for Patriarch to the Turkish government for its official approval. The Turks had the right to delete the names of those hierarchs they did not want to be elected to the Ecumenical Throne. At the last Patriarchal election no names were deleted. The then-Metropolitan of Chalcedon Bartholomew was the leading candidate, and he was ultimately elected.

Comments

  1. Well this should be interesting.

  2. George Michalopulos :

    John, I gotta tell you, I was just stunned by this. I just don’t know where to begin. If nothing else, I guess we forever ends the possibility of us Greeks taking back “the City.” I guess we’ll have to start calling it “Istanbul” from now on.

    • The only way this works is if every single bishop in the Ecumenical Patriarchate -without exception- applies for Turkish Citizenship. Every single last one (Greek and non-Greek). This makes everyone eligible for election period. It has to be a completely united effort to be legitimate or its simply more of the same.

      Unless this happens this new development may turn out to be a ecclesiatical version of American Idol with Turkish officials playing the judges.

  3. If they want Turkish Citizenship they should move to Turkey and serve the Patriarch there. This is so STUPID and just what the American Church does not need. Any American bishop that does this should have their US citizenship taken away and they should be deported!

    Last year the Romanian Patriarchate wanted to pass a resolution that all bishops of the partirachate in Romania or outside must be Romanian Citizens. We in America were able to beat this stupid rule back.

    I say this again any bishop that accepts Turkish Citizenship should have thier US citizenship striped from them and they should be deported. Bishops do not serve the Partirach they serve the people of their diocese.

    STUPID!

    • Any American bishop that does this should have their US citizenship taken away and they should be deported!

      Well… you could be half-right.

      “…a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship. Intent can be shown by the person’s statements or conduct…”

      Source:
      The U.S State Department on Dual Nationality

      And then there is this… “dual nationality may hamper efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protection to them (U.S. citizens) when they are abroad. For instance, the Government of Turkey will not permit any Turkish-American dual national arrested in Turkey to contact American officials.

      Source: U.S. Embassy in Turkey

      I wonder what Turkish law states?

  4. How would dual citizenship be viewed by all the parties involved? Does Turkey allow for dual citizenship. I, for instance, have dual citizenship with the UK (and thus the EU, in some fashion) and the US, but this does not undercut my rights and responsibilities as a US citizen.

    I think the issue would be more volatile within the Greek community in the US given the nature of Turko-Greek relations. Would Greeks hailing from the Republic of Greece and Cyprus accept officially Turkish citizen-bishops? Would the northern Greek dioceses of the EP accept their bishops becoming Greek citizens? Would Greece and Turkey allow dual citizenship with each other’s countries?

    • Officially the US does not recognize duel citizenship.

      • Yes, the US government does allow dual citizenship, though somewhat reluctantly. I’m pretty sure the rules about dual citizenship were changed by a non-legislative re-interpretation of the rules by the State Department in 1967, on account of Americans wishing to have dual Israeli nationality….

        “In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship. Intent can be shown by the person’s statements or conduct. The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause.”

        http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html

  5. This is simply a symptom of the silly anachronism and abstraction that the EP and “Constantinople” is.

    Expect it to get worse before it gets better. By “better” I mean the Church finally admitting to itself that the EP is a fiction. This will not happen very soon as the Church has lived this fiction for several hundred years now. Expect much more silliness in the near future…

  6. George Michalopulos :

    Christopher, I expect it to get worse before it gets even worse. Fr Peter is right: this is stupidity on stilts. I didn’t realize the same nonsense coming out of Bucharest. This shows that bishops who play along with these games have no Christian identity. Idolatry pure and simple, in this case, worship of the place rather than a graven image.

  7. George Michalopulos :

    “…concern among high-ranking officials at the Phanar…” indicates to me that the EP didn’t run this by Rev Hope-bearer, who is on the short list to be EP (that’s word on the street anyway). As so much else that comes out of the Phanar, this is ill-thought out, spur-of-the-moment, whim of the moment and will likely blow up in the entire GOA’s face.

  8. Well, no one wants to recognize or support dueling. :)

    I know they don’t recognize it, but they do allow for it now. In past decades they did not, especially not for naturalized citizens such as my father. That changed sometime during the 90s, I believe.

  9. I say, bring in the Russians. There are more Russian in Turkey than Greeks anyway.

    • Cui bono?

      Forgive my cynicism here if I am wrong, but when I read about Turkey’s offer I asked why this? and why now? I would suggest that the goal here is to exclude, for as long as possible anyway, an ethnic Russian or other non-Greek sitting on the Ecumenical Throne. I can’t imagine Russia, for example, not responding to the abuses of an ethnic Russian Patriarch. At a minimum terrorist attacks on the Phanar would result in diplomatic protests from the Russian government. A military response would also not be unimaginable.

      No, I suspect the goal here is to maintain the status quo–an isolated Patriarchate under the thumb of the Turkish government.

      In Christ,

      +FrG

      • Father Gregory,

        It is not that Greece has not responded to the attacks on the
        Ecumenical Patriarchate. Greece is a small country heavily reliant
        on the United States.

        In September 1955, the Turkish government instigated a violent
        pogrom (much like Krystaalnacht) against the Greek community.
        Greek Churches, homes, and businesses were all wiped out in a
        single day. A community of 100,000 that had been living in the
        lands of their ancestors were made homeless in one night.

        Greek men were beaten, women were raped etc.. A 90 year old priest
        named Chrysanthos Mannas was doused with gasoline and burned alive.
        A Metropolitan was died from injuries sustained after being brutally
        beaten.

        The Patriarchal Cemetary was desecrated with the graves of
        Ecumenical Patriarchs being ripped open and their bones scattered.
        Churches were profaned in unspeakable ways and chalices were urinated
        in.

        Pictures of the desecrated Churches of the time are not pleasant to
        watch.

        Turkey had deliberately incited its criminal elements (with police
        protection) to target the Greek community after bombing their own
        consulate in Thessaloniki, Greece (birthplace of Mustafa Kemal
        Turkey’s founder) to stir up anti-Greek hate.

        In the aftermath of this, the United States and NATO refused to
        condemn Turkey’s crimes and atrocities despite the justifiable
        outrage on the part of the Greek government. There were no sanctions
        over human rights violations imposed on Turkey or a threat to cut
        off aid to Turkey.

        Secretary of State John Foster Dulles wrote identical letters to the
        Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers referring to the outrages as
        “unhappy events” and discussed simply the necessity to maintain
        NATO unity.

        No condolences either to the Ecumenical Patriarch or to the Greek
        government. In fact, the United States threatened to cut off aid to
        Greece if Athens did not fall into line and reconcile with Turkey.

        This has been the American policy with regard to Greece and Turkey
        up to the present day, even while the Turks today have an Islamic
        government and curse the United States in solidarity with the
        Muslims of Iran, Syria, Iraq, and the Palestinians.

        Greece is a small country and in no position to respond militarily
        to a country like Turkey which has the whole western world behind it.

        There are some on this forum who have stereotyped the Greeks as
        a whole, unfairly. The Greek community in Turkey is small and they
        love their Churches and shrines and protect them as much as they
        can.

        The Church of Greece does what it can, as does the Greek government.
        I cannot say the same for the GOA which from what I can see does
        very little.

        I agree with you that the Russians would not tolerate the mistreatment
        of a Russian Ecumenical Patriarch. Russia however is a very strong and
        powerful country with a great military. The Turks fear them today
        as they traditionally have.

        The Greeks however have been left to fend for themselves and to
        survive alone.

        And for the record, do not judge the Greeks by the actions of the
        GOA who are neither the true representatives of Hellenism or
        Orthodoxy.

        Theodoros

        • Theodoros,

          Thank you for your sobering words.

          One of the things I carry with me from my time of service as a priest in the GOA is an awareness of the depth of suffering of the EP at the hands of the Turkish government. Yes, the Greek government does what it can, but as you point out, Turkey has much of the West backing it. This for me is one of the great frustrations with the Orthodox Church in this country–we need to be defending the rights of our Orthodox brethern (and others) who are suffering persecution.

          Part of this must be, I think, a robust defense of the political freedoms we take for granted in this country. Not simply the freedoms enshrined in the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights but also the rule of law and an understanding of the limited role of government. The religious freedom is not of benefit to the individual believer but also to the society as a check against our own worse tendencies to enact laws that by oppress some degrade us all.

          Unfortunately there seems to be little appreciation among many in the Church for the classical American understanding of a secular order. This extends, I must say, not simply to a knee jerk rejection of the Enlightenment and the argument for a limited government but also (and in someways more worrisome) the indifference and even hostility to the notion that the rule of law is also essential to the internal life of the Church. We undermine our own prophetic office when we neglect to govern our Church life according to the principles of justice and fairness.

          We cannot as a Church simply be one more pressure group. Yes, by all means, let us make our case for the Gospel in the public square and the halls of government. But we cannot forget that first and foremost we make this case in the human heart. None of this we can do, however, if we are ourselves not committed to Christ and the Gospel.

          As for Russia, we are in agreement–they would not tolerate the mistreatment of a Russian EP. While this is to there credit, it would be more to their credit if the they showed at least some concern for the rights of the Ecumenical Throne vis-a-vis the Turkish government. Yes there are territorial disputes between Moscow and Constantinople, but it seems to me (and what do I know) that these disagreements ought not to get in the way of the MP advocating on behalf of the EP both with the Russian government and, through the government, Turkey. Sometimes I think there is too much politics in the Church; other days I think there is not enough.

          Again, thank you for your reminder of the suffering Church in Constantinople.

          In Christ,

          +FrG

          • Geo Michalopulos :

            Theodoros, my mother’s ancestry being from Asia Minor, I am acutely aware of the sorrows of the Christian peoples in Turkey. It does no good however to endlessly play the victim card. We know about the suffering of the pogrom in 1955 and how patriarchal institutions were decimated.

            The question however now is: why is the EP (a man of Greek heritage) so willingly carrying water for the Turkish regime?

            We cannot have it both ways, i.e. endlessly cite the litany of suffering in Istanbul, but then trying to expand the number of Greeks (and we are talking only of Greeks here) to that same font of suffering.

            There is a cliche that states “insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again hoping someday to acheive a different result.”

            The EPs of the past had their chance, they could have evangelized the Turkish nation, or at least attempted to. Instead, they retreated to their ghetto and held their noses up in contempt against all other non-Greek Orthodox populations, crying for their help when it was needed. Nobody is fooled.

            As a Greek, I am revolted by the thought of any Greek bishop (even if they are non-entities like many in the GOA) renouncing his American citizenship and taking Turkish citizenship. This would be worse than Esau giving away his birthright for some lentils, at least Esau was famished from a long day of hunting. We Greeks like to think that our civilization informed the American democratic experiment, how then in good conscience could a Greek-American bishop throw that (and his freedoms away) for the thin gruel of the ecumenical throne?

  10. The questions will continue to mount in the face of this utterly freakish development, this fraudulent and nakedly political gambit.

    The first question, Is it true? There must be something solid to it. Kalmoukos is probably the best connected journalist in America covering the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Any doubts about that, see his Oct. 31-Nov. 6 National Herald story (“Outrage at a New England Parish Over Actions by Metropolitan Methodios”) about how Methodios of Boston has done just about everything possible to wreck a 650-family parish in Lowell, Mass. Parishioners are leavings in droves.

    More questions about Turkish citizenship:

    — When Patriarch Bartholomew talks about “my country” and “my prime minister” he means Turkey and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Erdogan denies that he is an Islamist). Will American-born Greek Orthodox bishops be heard saying the same thing about Turkey and its prime minister soon? Is American citizenship such a paltry thing that it can be traded away or compromised for … for what? A shot at the brass ring, the Ecumenical Throne? And if an American bishop takes a Turkish passport but doesn’t survive the intense politicking necessary to ascend to this Throne, where does that leave him? Do you go back to being a full American?

    — On this Veterans Day, we remember the sacrifice of those who served and the many who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. How will members of the U.S. military and our veterans view a bishop who takes a Turkish passport?

    — The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has already put itself at the service of Greek “national interests.” Will it now serve Turkish “national interests”? Will Greek bishops soon be heard delivering speeches and sermons in favor of Turkey’s EU accession, in accord with the views of Patriarch Bartholomew?

    — What happens if an American bishop, with a shiny new Turkish passport, is nominated for the Throne but is rejected by Turkish authorities? Does the bishop go back to being an American again?

    — Archbishop Demetrios has launched a campaign to bring people back into the Church under the banner of “Gather My People to My Home.” Where is home? Istanbul? Ankara?

    — How will we explain this to our youth?

    — What happens if Turkey becomes an Islamist state or is subjected to yet another military takeover? Will our bishops come scuttling back to Uncle Sam for protection?

    — What will Turkey demand in return for granting citizenship?

    — Why would an American Orthodox bishop take citizenship in a country that committed genocide against Armenian, Greek and Syrian Christians but cannot bring itself to acknowledge its crimes?

    — Which country, the United States or Turkey, has a tradition of religious freedom? Background here:

    A court case in Turkey has pointed to the existence of a secretive underground ultra-nationalist organisation Ergenekon, though this might merely be another name for the “deep state”. The trial began near Istanbul on 20 October of 86 alleged members – from the police, army, business, politics and the mass media – on charges that they were plotting to overthrow the current Justice and Development Party (AKP) government by 2009.

    The “deep state” is the term used in Turkey for nationalist circles in the army, police, National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) secret police and state administration, which regard themselves as the custodians of the secularist legacy of the Republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (see F18News 28 June 2007 ). The MIT closely monitors religious minorities, and some MIT officers do indeed believe in protecting religious minorities. But other MIT officers are staunch nationalists and fully part of the “deep state” (see F18News 10 July 2007 ).

    Opposition to religious freedom is widespread among the “deep state” and wider sections of political life and the general public. This hostility has resulted in deaths and violent attacks, and has not been effectively addressed by the government (see F18News 15 April 2008 ).

    The anti-religious minority views of ultra-nationalist circles and the “deep state” were no secret, especially to the religious minorities themselves. But reports in the Turkish media about Ergenekon have, perhaps for the first time, given the wider Turkish public the details of the conspiracies. Many Turkish analysts think that the allegations made so far will turn out to be true.

    Members of Ergenekon are alleged to have maintained lists of people – including Christians with a missionary background – targeted for killing. The involvement of Ergenekon has been alleged in the murders of Catholic priest Fr Andrea Santoro in Trabzon in February 2006 and three Protestants – Necati Aydin, Tillman Geske and Ugur Yüksel – in Malatya in April 2007. The MIT secret police is known to have maintained observation of the places where all four of these Christians were killed (see F18News 10 July 2007 ).

    The trial of those accused of the Malatya murders is revealing that there may be links between Ergenekon, the “deep state” and the murders. As Christian news service Compass Direct reported on 21 October (), the lawyer Orhan Kemal Cengiz, who leads the legal team representing the victims’ families, states that there is a “very dark, complex, sophisticated web of relations behind the scenes.”

    Indeed, the Ergenekon people not only seem to be the masterminds of the Santoro and Malatya murders (and of the murder of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink), they even had a plan to kill the Ecumenical Patriarch – or at least to incite his murder in a way that could not be traced back to them.

    • This is a very well stated commentary, but one clarification.
      The GOA does not represent the Greek American community. Greek
      Americans have legitimate rights and interests as American citizens
      to lobby and ensure that the US government recognize international
      law, religious freedom, and human rights with regard to Greece and
      Cyprus, as well as the Armenian Genocide.

      Several decades of the US government appeasing Turkey has only led
      to anti-Americanism in Turkey. The Turkish Islamic government and
      military curse and condemn the United States.

      Ankara is in the midst of forming alliances with Syria and Iran, and
      are threatening the State of Israel.

      It is profoundly unfortunate that Washington never spoke up for the
      Greek Christians of Constantinople since 1955 when that community
      was targeted for elimination by the Turkish governments.

      It is an American interest to reduce its dependence on Turkey which is
      now becoming Iran’s ally. Also, Turkey is a sponsor of terrorism as
      can be seen by the terrorist groups it has sponsored in the occupied
      territories of Cyprus and Turkey itself.

      Greece and America fought side by side in both World Wars, against
      the Communists in Korea, and during the Cold War.

      There is nothing wrong with the Greek Americans looking to become a
      bridge between America and Greece who have always been, and should
      be partners again in the War on Terror.

      Theodoros

      • Theodoros — Your point is very well taken. Imagine the support, and deep bond of love, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate could have engendered over the years simply by being the Church. I know many Americans of Greek descent who are fed up with the trite ethnic “Hellenism” that we get out of New York. It might play in Astoria, it doesn’t play in Peoria. Orthodox Christians in the GOA are in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not more lectures about the UN Copenhagen framework. Be the Church!

        If we had pastors who were more interested in mission and evangelism, instead of kow-towing to whomever is in power in Washington, we would have a groundswell of support for Constantinople. We would respond to bishops who truly care about their flock. Instead, what do we get? We get more lavish New York dinners for a couple hundred Archons dressed up in funny sport coats and chintzy medals like they’re at an Elks Club initiation.

        What’s more, the other Orthodox jurisdictions in America would support the patriarchate as well, if they were only treated like brothers and sisters in Christ. Imagine the effect if, on his recent trip, Bartholomew had taken a couple days to hold a two-day outdoor youth rally — anywhere but on the East Coast — with all the SCOBA bishops at his side. Imagine that. Instead, we get lavish dinners at Coca-Cola headquarters, conferences for environmentalists, and endless lobbying in Washington.

    • John, these words ring true. I was holding out some hope that this arrangment could possibly work but I think you clearly proved that cannot be the case. I hope you will use this post as a springboard for an article. We do not need a Church controlled by Turkish Authorities. If I was Greece (or any other supporting group) and heard this I would restrict funds to the Patriarchate

  11. George Michalopulos :

    John, absolutely correct. I’m sure that there are many more unintended consequences –all of them bad–that would result from this STUPENDOUSLY AWFUL idea. What a slap in the face to the millions of veterans today, many of who shed their blood to keep this country strong and free. I know that precious few of the newer GOA prelates were ever eligible for military service, but one of the older guys who did serve should have stood up and walked out when the EP made this outlandish proposal. If it cost him his job, who cares. It’s not like the GOA “metropolitans” are real bishops. Just look at the story about Methodius of Boston, he thinks he presides over Boston, but he’ll be brought to heel soon enough now that he’s angered Consiglieri Karloutsos, the “spiritual advisor to the Archons.” (Just wondering, how many pilgrimages to monasteries has Rev Karloutsos taken the Archons to?)

  12. Orthodox Beacon has published the text of the National Herald article, Outrage at a New England Parish Over Actions of Metropolitan Methodios.

  13. Disillusioned with Europe, Turkey Looks East

    By Daniel Steinvorth in Istanbul

    As European opposition to EU membership for Turkey grows, Ankara is looking to forge closer ties to its neighbors. Turkey wants to once again become a leading power in the Middle East — but its relationship with Israel may suffer as a result.

    He was the last heir to the throne of the Ottoman Empire, a major power that controlled large parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for centuries. But Prince Osman Ertugrul Osmanoglu was a prince without a country, and he was stateless for much of his life. When Turkish officers proclaimed the republic in 1924, they expelled Osmanoglu and his entire family. It wasn’t until 2004 that the exiled prince was granted Turkish citizenship.

    The prince died in Istanbul on Sept. 23, at the age of 97, and the republic that had once banished him became reconciled with Osmanoglu. The guests at the funeral service included four cabinet ministers from the conservative Islamic AKP government, a deputy minister, several members of parliament, Istanbul’s governor and the city’s chief of police. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also sent his condolences — privately. It was a rare show of republican appreciation for Turkey’s Ottoman legacy.

    Many Turks today believe that true greatness lies in the imperial past — and that this past is no longer to be found exclusively in the West. Europe, with its fondness for criticizing Turkey, is increasingly become yesterday’s ideal. “Neo-Ottomanism” is in vogue in Turkey, as evidenced by an exhibition at a new history museum that opened in Istanbul at the beginning of the year, a museum commission by Erdogan when he was still the mayor of Istanbul. An enormous panorama painting at the museum depicts the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453, complete with a soundtrack of cannon thunder and war cries piped through the loudspeakers.

    More …

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,660635,00.html#ref=nlint

  14. Okay going off on a bit of a tangent here but I believe that Turkish citizens have to serve in the military. Whilst we are speaking of the military if the Greek Bishop of Boston becomes a turkish citizen and we have some kind of war, not beyond thought here what happens? This is really a bad idea and it will like a power grab by the EP in the discussion of the new American Orthodox Church. I think this would be enough to stop the entire process.

  15. Mandatory enrollment in the Turkish military huh?

    Now there’s a reason to have all the Greek bishops sign up for Turkish citizenship!!! Let’s see…Seargant Methodios, Captain Savas, Colonel Iakovos, and Private First Class (in training) Nicholas.

    …talk about poetic justice.

    At first I thought this was outrageous, but I’m beginning to see the merits of the idea. This could do more for Orthodox unity in this country than OCL has been able to accomplish in years.

    This is too funny…are you sure it’s not an April Fool’s joke?

    C’mon….you couldn’t make this stuff up!!!

    Best Regards,
    Dean

  16. What about being charged with and tried for treason because some sermon or speech is anti-Turkish. Give them citizenship and guaranty their silence. The Turks are pretty smart. No comment necessary regarding HAH EP.

  17. George Michalopulos :

    Fr Peter, Dean, Nick, all: some of these ideas that you bring forward are worthy of contemplation, even if some of them are offered half-in-jest. I just remembered something, about 2 yrs ago, a Turkish novelist was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I think the novel was Snow. Anyway, he was charged with the crime of “speaking against Turkishness,” or some such.

    Anyway, I have a feeling that this whole scheme was worked out privately btw Erdogan and the EP w/out any input at all from the assorted flunkies at the Phanar. It’s got a “fly by the seat of the pants” aroma about it. Not well thought out, and divorced from the reality of the majority of Greek laymen who have enjoyed at least 8 generations of freedom from dhimmitude.

    This is almost Bidenesque in its creation. I’ve had a sneaking feeling for a long time that the current slate of dhimmis who run the Phanar have forgotten –or more likely, never knew–what it’s like to be a free man or preach a robust Christian message. I think the game, the process, what have you, has become the end and not the means.

  18. Right on George.

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