Showing posts with label Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Show all posts

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Orthodox Christian Meeting in Crete & Women?

Greek Orthodox leaders meeting in Crete, Greece.
Source: Archdeacon Panteleimon
The Orthodox Church is holding an unprecedented council in Crete.

It was supposed to be in Istanbul but that was deemed too risky. So far the press releases are formalities and the American priests' Facebook posts reflect how awestruck everyone is.

On day one, today, the big story is that the Russians didn't participate. It's a patriarchal power game, and the BBC reported the Russians have issues with the Ukranian Orthodox and unity efforts.

Photos from the St. Menas Cathedral in the city of Iraklion look inspiring, as were the vistas from an ancient monastery overlooking the
Mediterranean Sea.

Sadly, I have not seen any nuns or females in photos. With greater sadness, I point out the orange juice brand (see photo) that someone decided should be served to make a scantily-clad point. You couldn't serve that today in Iznik, Turkey. That city was formerly called Nicea, and was where another of these famous councils came up with the Nicene Creed used in most Christian churches. We still pray for "one Holy, catholic (true) and apostolic church."

Hopefully we won't be visiting the Orthodox Church's ashes with tour buses in another 1000 years; that's the drill in Iznik now. We all hope for some inspiration from this council.

Photo credit: New Yorker And Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Archdeacon Panteleimon via Facebook, showing the leader of the American Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Demetrios, seated at far left.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Turkish Schools in U.S.; Who is Gulen?

Chicago Tribune lead columnist John Kass, who's normally focused on scrappy city politics, just wrapped up two weeks of foreign reporting that took him from his familial Greek village to resurrection services in Istanbul.

There were 10 columns in all. But in the column where he visits with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Kass dropped the little-known name Muhammed Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen's many followers in Turkey and among Turkish-Americans like to call Gulen a philosopher. Kass called him a theologian. But it seems fair to say Gulen is a preacher, born in Turkey but living in the U.S., who harnesses a powerful wealth network to put a progressive face on Islam.

Some links with more info:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Attaturk & Architecture

A number of watchdog Christian news sources, including Italy's AsiaNews are reporting the European Court of Human Rights "ruled that Turkey must return the former Greek Orphanage on Büyükada Island, the largest of the Princes’ Islands, back to Fener Greek Patriarchate. This concludes the long legal case between the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and Turkish authorities." (See an Armenian site for photo and good summary.)

Travelers take boats to these pretty islands, which are increasingly dotted with nice hotels - prime real estate. Today's Zaman, a Turkish newspaper that favors minority interests in Turkey, points out the orphanage is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world and was illegally confiscated.

When CBS' 60 Minutes profiled the Patriarchate recently, they filmed the Patriarch at Büyükada. The legal status of many other properties that Christians lost, when forced from Turkey, cannot be questioned, thanks to the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923.

Also on the subject of architecture, consider Aghia Sofia, the magnificent church in Istanbul that became a mosque and now is a Turkish government museum. The above photo shows a stone piece from Aghia Sofia embedded into the facade of the Chicago Tribune Tower -- just after the Treaty of Lausanne was signed. The Tower was completed in 1925 following an international competition in 1922, just when Christian refugees were fleeing Turkey. The contest: design the most beautiful office building in the world. Today, Chicago's Tribune Tower still houses a decayed-but-great newspaper and remains dotted with fascinating artifacts from the world's monumental architecture.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Watch 60 Minutes 12/20!

Watch 60 Minutes Sunday for an interview in Turkey with Orthodox Christian Patriarch Bartholomew. Video Preview here.
CBS travels to Cappadocia, in far Eastern Turkey, to highlight the Christian church's expansion from Jerusalem to Constantinople 17 centuries ago. When I traveled to Jerusalem and Istanbul last January, my experience was a mixture of sadness and joy, with Islam vs Christianity and Judaism. The Patriarch says the church feels "crucified" living in Turkey; it's hard to imagine a revitalized church in my grandparents' country. (For more on their Turkish village, and my visit with the Patriarch last January, click here.)
CBS writes: "One and a half million Orthodox were expelled in 1923 and another 150,000 left after violent anti- Christian riots in Istanbul in 1955. A population once numbering near two million is now around 4,000." Bartholomew is considered global leader to the 300 million-member Orthodox Christian Church. For more on Turkey and religion, check out a World Focus piece on Islamic extremism in Turkey.
Also see and hear the story, with Web extras!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Istanbul Vandals v. Xtians

Vandals in recent days shattered and knocked over headstones in a Greek cemetery in Istanbul, according to an Ecumenical Patriarchate email. Many of those buried had died in the past decade after spending their last days at the nearby Balouki nursing home. The well-heeled, largely American patrons of the Patriarchate, the "archons," are now building a tall fence around the cemetery and restoring the headstones, which look surprisingly flimsy in photos compared to the granite or limestone versions you see in American cemeteries. While this is no doubt due in part to local tradition, and the destitute status of isolated Greek Christians who died in Istanbul, one has to ask why the patriarchate and its patrons have not done more to secure this cemetery and another that was the scene of even more disgusting vandalism, knowing that the Turkish authorities cannot provide constant police protection of graves. Insiders always tell me the patriarchate has more money than we think. Politics aside, the situation of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is pathetic and I increasingly feel that anything one can do is too little, too late.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama Met Patriarch

President Obama met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul Monday, but all the interested parties got Thursday was this lousy press release and Web link . Old news won't get covered -- but really glad we spend on Internet ministries. It appears foolish to put the news out late and without any explanation of the obvious: why wasn't the Patriarch also a part of publicized meetings with other local Christian leaders? Why did Obama and the Patriarch meet at a hotel and not at the Patriarchate? The Patriarchate "Fener" neighborhood is just a taxi ride from the Conrad Hilton Istanbul. The photo in the link above is of the president speaking; the release is mostly about what the Patriarch said. Diplomacy is one thing, but Byzantine secrecy is just so ... Byzantine.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hillary in Turkey

Here are some interesting highlights from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's March 7 mini-briefing in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Clinton said, "we talked about Turkey's democracy, its multi-ethnic heritage, and in that context, I raised the importance that we place on reopening the Halki Seminary and efforts to reach out to all of Turkey's communities ... We will establish a Young Turkey - Young America initiative that will enable emerging young leaders in Turkey and the United States to develop initiatives that will positively impact not just their own lives, but the lives of our two peoples, and to help build a better future ... President Obama will be visiting Turkey within the next month or so." Read the full text of the press conference here, including two -- count 'em, two -- questions allowed from the press.