‘Ecumenical Patriarchate title would elevate Turkey’s reputation’

Fener Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I throws a wooden cross into the Bosphorus river’s Golden Horn in Istanbul.

The Turkish government can ‘only benefit from recognizing the ecumenical status of the Patriarchate’ a senior official from the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate says in an exclusive interview

Stopping resistance to the title “Ecumenical Patriarchate” and reopening the Halki Seminary can only elevate the reputation of Turkey as a democratic nation, according to a senior official from the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate.

“The ‘ecumenical’ status is a spiritual and religious jurisdiction. It is not legal or secular,” John Chryssavgis, who holds the title of Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Throne, told Hürriyet.

“The Ecumenical Patriarch has direct authority over churches in Australia, Asia and Western Europe, as well as in North and South America. Moreover, he has the responsibility of coordinating all of the 14 independent Orthodox Churches in the world, including the Church of Moscow and the Church of Antioch [encompassing today’s Syria and Lebanon], and so on,” said Chryssavgis, who also serves as an advisor to Patriarch Bartholomew…

  • Minicapt

    Unfortunately there is no indication how this would advance the cause of Mohammedanism and Turkey’s associated elevated world stature. Also, Erdogan’s retirement plan.


    • Frau Katze

      This is true. Thus nothing gets done.

  • disqus_omtDhqWCVP

    At this time in Turkey’s history even the death of Erdogan could elevate its tawdry reputation.
    They have advanced backwards several centuries and are picking up speed.

    Mickey Oberman

    • Frau Katze

      Actually, the Orthodox Church is growing in North America. People are converting from the “progressive” mainline Protestant sects that have become über-liberal.

      • That’s true…and you don’t have to be Greek or Slavic to join. In most places you can find parishes that hold services in English.

        • It’s a bit odd for me. I don’t think of the Orthodoxies as being Universal (“Catholic”, as it were.) I sort of associate Orthodoxy with Eastern European Nationalisms. (My mother’s family is Ukrainian; Baptist converts, formerly Uniate, which is something I don’t really understand anyway, but I think those people are sort of Catholics or something. I could ask my mother about this stuff but that would involve speaking to her.)

          I mean I’m probably mainly going on the Seinfeld episode where George converts to Latvian Orthodoxy to keep his girlfriend. It never does to underestimate my philistinism.


          But hey, look, if Sevastopol is a “holy city” according to Putin, don’t tell me these Orthodox aren’t crazy nationalist. There is this weird kind of Dostoevskian notion of Holy Mother Russia etc. I don’t totally get it.

          BTW I do enjoy P.J. O’Rourke’s (BWHWF) account of reading Anna Karenina in University: “There was Tolstoy gibbering about the Russian peasant’s spiritual relationship to yakkity-yakkity-yak and me going ‘Leo, why’d she fuck the guy?’”.


          • The Uniate churches are indeed under the Pope of Rome; hence, they are Roman Catholic. The only difference is that they use the Byzantine style of liturgy, including the vestments, architecture, etc. The whole Uniate project was and still is a Vatican ploy to extend their political power base eastward. The Vatican has been working to undermine Orthodoxy ever since the Schism, if not before. It’s no surprise that your relatives converted to Protestantism. Orthodox believers who been brought up in the faith very seldom leave it.

            There is indeed an Latvian Orthodox Church under the Moscow patriarchate. Everything is the same as the Russian church except for the use of the Latvian language. The Orthodox Church believes in offering services in languages that will be understood by the parishoners who will be attending.

            For many centuries, Russia was the only Orthodox Christian nation that was not under the hammer of Muslim occupation. It was and once again is the bulwark of Orthodoxy and the protection of Orthodox Christians.

            The Russian Empire included much of what has now been allocated to present-day Ukraine, because of the borders drawn in the old Soviet Union. Kievan Rus was the origin of Russian Orthodox Christianity under Saints Vladimir and Olga.

          • b_marco

            I lived in an Orthodox monastery for years (honest) and don’t claim to totally get it either. It’s a mixed bag like anything.

          • Huh.

          • b_marco

            VVP and his fans are doing for Orthodoxy what Bin Laden did for Islam.

          • Oh, I don’t think even the Shirtless Tsar could wreak quite that much devastation. Then again, he’s got a lot more to, um, devastate.

          • Frau Katze

            You can easily find Orthodox services in English these days in any decent-sized town/city (they even one in Quebec with services in French).

  • AlanUK

    What’s that flying cross doing in the top right of the picture??

    • b_marco

      It looks as though the Pat has thrown it, with conviction, at an off-screen target… perhaps some form of moving water body.

      • It’s for a religious service, the Great Blessing of the Waters, which takes place on Epiphany, commemorating Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River.

        • Frau Katze


    • Frau Katze

      He throws it in the water and guys dive in to fetch it. It’s a ceremony held once a year.

      • AlanUK

        Hope the string doesn’t break!
        (Was the caption on the original post? Shouldn’t have missed it.)