US: Istanbul Patriarchate has ecumenical status
Greek Orthodox Patriarchy is ecumenical: US
The US State Department statement said that President Bush had
requested the re-opening of the Greek Orthodox seminary in the
Heybeliada during a meeting in June with Prime Minister Erdogan.
WASHINGTON - The United States has said it recognised the Greek
Orthodox Patriarchy in Istanbul as having ecumenical status, a
written statement issued late Monday said.
The statement, released by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack
in response to a question raised in the department's daily briefing,
said that they saw the Greek Orthodox Patriarch as a religious
leader of a global position.
The statement stressed that in the US' religious freedoms report for
2005, that the issues of ecumenical patriarchy, the re-opening of
the Orthodox seminary on the Turkish island of Heybeliada and rights
of other religious minorities were covered.
Ankara does not acknowledge the ecumenical status of the Patriarchy,
deeming incumbent Patriarch Batholomew II as being the leader of
Turkey's Orthodox community, rather than being the head of the
Orthodox church world wide.