Patriarch Cyril encourages hope of the suffering Church of Constantinople

I stepped on this video on the internet and i was deeply moved, such a beautiful speech by Patriarch Cyril, he was metropolitan back then. I believe we should all pray for the liberation of the Church of Constantinople.

The Church of Constantinople is at it’s very end, there are only 4000 Orthodox Christians (Greeks) left in Turkey, and according to Turkish laws, only citizens of Turkey can become Patriarch of Constantinople or bishops of any other diocese within the borders of Turkey. Also Turkey closed down seminaries that the Church of Constantinople had running.

Wow, that sucks :frowning: time to reunite and double the power! Seriously I’d love to see that happen, reinvigorate both halfs :slight_smile:

I will pray for the perseverance and liberation of our brothers and sisters in Constantinople and Turkey at large.

How come this matter isn’t adressed in the EU.

I’d expect christian countries like Malta, Poland, Italy, Greece to speak out against this. Where is the outrage?

This is like China deciding for Tibetan buddhism, there is outrage, but with the second biggest denomination in christianity there isn’t any outrage? Weird this… really weird.

Edit: I’ve tried to search more about this loads of times, but I can’t find any, what are the current developments.

This is a more critical situation than the ‘semi-schism’ of the PCA in China.

Is it just that the outrage is written in Greek, Serbian or Russian and I don’t read these articles? Please enlighten me?

Hard to have outrage when most people aren’t aware of any of this. I mean this post is the first I’ve ever heard that the Ecumenical Patriarch is limited by Turkish law to being a Turkish citizen never mind your stat that there are only 4000 Greek Orthodox left in Turkey.

I feared as much.

Turkey has loads of influence over the EOC. A better option would be if they went into exile, because right now in Turkey they are getting controlled by a secular government with goals of its own.

They recognize Bartholomew only as the bishop of the Phanar (a neighbourhood in Istanbul).

With the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923, the authority of the Ottoman Empire over the Patriarch was transferred to the Republic. The Turkish state only recognizes the Patriarch as the spiritual leader of the Greek minority in Turkey, and officially refers to him as the “Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Phanar” or “Roman Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople” (Turkish: Fener Rum Ortodoks Patriği) (Phanar is the neighbourhood in Istanbul where the patriarchate is located). According to Turkish law, still in force today, he is subject to the authority of the Republic of Turkey; however, Turkey allows the Standing Synod of Metropolitan Bishops to elect the Patriarch. To be electable, Turkish law requires the candidates to be Turkish citizens by birth. Since the establishment of modern Turkey, the position of the Ecumenical Patriarch has been filled by Turkish-born citizens of Greek ethnicity. As nearly all Greek Orthodox have left Turkey (see Population exchange between Greece and Turkey and Istanbul Pogrom), this considerably narrows the field of candidates for succession.

Human rights groups and Christian governments have long protested against conditions placed by the secular government of Turkey on the Ecumenical Patriarch, a religious office. The same policy also applied to the Institution of the Islamic Caliphate, which was abolished by Turkey. For example, the ecumenical status accorded him traditionally within Eastern Orthodoxy, and recognized previously by the Ottoman governments, has on occasion been a source of controversy within the Republic of Turkey. This policy results in problems in the function of the Patriarchate, since clergy coming from abroad are not eligible to apply for residence and work permits. In its early days the Turkish state promoted a rival Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate, whose congregation, however, has remained limited.

Expropriation of Church property and the conditions of state control imposed on the Orthodox Theological School of Halki that have led to its closure by the Patriarchate, are also cited by human rights groups. However, in 2004 Patriarch Bartholomew, with the help of the Turkish government, succeeded, after eighty years, in altering the composition of the twelve-member Standing Synod of Metropolitan Bishops in Constantinople so that it can include six bishops from outside Turkey. He has also been convening biennially in Constantinople convocations of all bishops in his jurisdiction.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has suffered attacks on occasion from 1993 to 2004, including desecration of patriarchal cemeteries as well as personal assaults against the Ecumenical Patriarch

Church of Constantinople only left the city during 4th Crusade tyranny, it is hard for them to break the tradition again. Patriarch Bartholomew said he believes in miracles and that he plans to die in Constantinople.

Sure, but are they really planning to get their next Ecumenical Patriarch out of the 4,000 Greek-Orthodox population of Turkey?

I think they will go into exile after Bartholomew. They will continue to claim Constantinople ofcourse.

They have already consecrated bishops, they will elect new Patriarch among them, not 4000 laymen, but new bishops will have to come from those laymen.
The good thing is that those 4000 laymen who live in Turkey, they live only because of Church, they are completely devoted to the Church, they are not some 4000 random Greeks who don’t care about God or Church.

So in other words for the EOC to remain in Turkey, Eastern Orthodox priests have to relocate to Turkey?

It’s a humiliation for them to led Turkey decide this on their behalf.

Theoretically, if the Turkish government continues to keep the seminary closed, couldn’t future priests and bishops complete seminary in Greece and then return to Turkey?

Let me clear up a few things. There is a very small Greek community in Turkey but the Patriarchate has all of the Greek Orthodox communities in the diaspora under it’s control along with some Ukrainian and Rusyn communities. And although it is true that the Patriarch has to be a Turkish citizen the Turkish government allows bishops to have dual citizenship. Quite of few bishops, including a number of Greek bishops here in the US have taken the offer and are eligible to become Patriarch.

And though we definitely appreciate the attention, although the situation is still dire, I think it’s important to understand the reality on the ground.

It’s still a tad disturbing that the Turkish government gets to dictate to the Church who they can and can’t elect as their leader. Particularly when it’s not the national church of the country.

This is not the correct topic for this. But to become the patriarch of Constantinople, do you have to be Greek-Orthodox? Or could for example a Serbian-Orthodox bishop in theory become the new patriarch?

I’m not arguing that it’s not disturbing. I just want potential advocates to have the correct info.

The Patriarch, let like any primate, is elected from among the members of the Holy Synod. So a member of the holy synod of the Serbian Church would not be elected. If for some unusual reason the synod wanted someone from outside they could follow the canonical procedures for releasing one bishop from one Church to the other and then he could be elected.

Maybe Russian can take the liberation into their own hands by invading Turkey.

Because Russia invading a member of NATO is going to end well for anyone.

Oh yes indeed. Turkey and Russia have had plenty of wars in the past and every one of them has ended with massive casualties. Turkey is deeply unpopular in Russia right now for numerous reasons but Russia is not going to be invading Turkey any time soon and wishing for them to do so is more or less wishing to light the blue torch paper for another World War.

I actually hope they do not invade Turkey.

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