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Patriarch positive towards new Turkish president

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=10870&t=Patriarch+positive+towards+new+Turkish+president Patriarch positive towards new Turkish president
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2007
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      Patriarch positive towards new Turkish president
      Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I expressed
      positive remarks about new Turkish president. New
      conference on the environment announced, as well
      as new initiatives directed at Catholics.
      Monday, September 03, 2007
      By Asia News See all articles by this author

      At the end of the Indiktos, the annual meeting of
      the Orthodox Synod, both the Orthodox patriarch
      of Constantinople and the Synod expressed
      optimism about the election of the new Turkish
      President Abdullah Gül and the earlier
      re-election of his Islamist party, the AKP, under Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

      “We are happy about the elections and welcome
      with optimism the results of the parliamentary
      and presidential elections,” said Patriarch
      Bartholomew I, who was speaking from Istanbul’s
      Yenikoy parish to a group of young Orthodox
      involved in revitalising the city’s Orthodox communities.

      The patriarch, who heads a tiny Greek-Orthodox
      community of a few thousand people, has lobbied
      the Turkish authorities for a long time to get
      them to grant greater freedom of religion, to
      allow the Church to open theology schools, build
      new churches, buy new buildings and return
      property belonging to the Patriarchate that was
      confiscated by the Turkish government.

      “We hope the (election) results will have a
      positive impact on minorities, providing them
      with some answers to the problems that have
      accumulated over time and uprooted the Orthodox community.”

      The Indiktos, which starts the Orthodox
      Ecclesiastic Year, brought together 63
      metropolitans from around the world. Among the
      issues they discussed was the need to protect the
      environment “from man’s excessive ambitions and abuses.”

      The patriarch used the occasion also to set the
      date (September 6-13, 2008) for a big conference
      on the environment to be held in Greenland.

      Another issue was ecumenism. A conference by
      theologian Ioannis Zizoulas, Metropolitan of
      Pergamon, was noteworthy for showing that the
      communion between the Catholic Church and
      Orthodoxy continued for centuries despite the official break in 1054.

      “Gennadios, the first patriarch appointed after
      the fall of Constantinople in 1453 who had a
      reputation of being anti-Catholic, used to say
      that Catholics and Armenians who took part in the
      liturgy should receive the blessed bread and the
      blessing with the icon of the Mother of God,” Zizoulas said.

      Zizoulas’ address is encouraging for
      Catholic-Orthodox dialogue—it puts into
      perspective the relations Orthodox have with
      other Churches, including the World Council of
      Churches. For instance, he noted that whilst the
      “dialogue between Orthodox and Anglicans is not
      meant to achieve unity,” it can “encourage the
      formulation of common solutions to social
      problems even though there is no vision of
      sacramental unity. Orthodoxy is not a
      confederation of local Churches, but [a communion
      with] a centre of unity: Constantinople.”
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