30 January, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/30/2007
TURKEY
“Concerns” over sentence which denies ecumenical rights to Patriarch of Constantinople
The Patriarch of Constantinople has expressed his concern following a recent verdict defining him as a “Turkish subject” spiritual guide only to the Greek Orthodox minority in Turkey. Experts speak of a “political” move which goes against the European programmes of the government, a dangerous precedent which may influence the fate of the Country’s religious community.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – The Patriarch of Constantinople has expressed his “profound sorrow” at a sentence which June 26 contested the ecumenical right of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, defining it as a Turkish body responsible for the worship of the Greek orthodox minority in the country.  According to the Court, Bartholomew I cannot bear the title “Ecumenical Patriarch” for the Orthodox world.  Religious affairs experts in Turkey describe it as a “political” verdict, which raises “concerns” for the fate of religious minorities in the country.

In a statement published yesterday the Patriarchate clarified that “the primacy of the Patriarchate has been an honorary, spiritual and historical orthodox title for over 17 centuries.  In the Christian Orthodox world the primacy establishes the hierarchy and expresses a pure religious state, this has theological relevance”.

The Court sentence reaffirms a long established approach to the Patriarchate, the aim to downsize its role and its authority.  Diplomats note that this position is contradictory for a country which has placed the European dimension as a milestone since its foundation.  However, what greatly worries these analysts is the context in which the verdict came about.  The court was called to examine the case of a Turkish Orthodox priest of Bulgarian origins, who the Holy Synod had removed from office, because of an “unfitting and inadequate behaviour”. In the sentencing – experts note – the Supreme Court came down on the side of the Patriarchate, but at the same time used the opportunity to pass down a political judgement on the juridical state of the Patriarchate.

The “primacy” feared by authorities and public opinion  

In order to justify its verdict the Court turned to the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which classified the Patriarchate of Constantinople as a religious minority rather than “ecumenical”.  In Orthodoxy each Church is autonomous for jurisdiction, but the Patriarch of Constantinople has long covered a role “primus inter pares”, enforced by the historical value of the Church of the ancient eastern Christian capital.  The judges then clarified that, while it has the right to remain on Turkish soil, the Patriarchate “is subject to Turkish law”, while Turkey cannot give “special status” to the minority who live there. The Orthodox and Catholic communities continue to lack juridical weight, the ministers of worship and bishops are still not recognised, seminaries remain closed and the Patriarch must be by law a Turkish citizen.  The qualifying “ecumenical” linked to the Patriarchate irritates some political groups in Turkey as well as some sectors of public opinion who accuse the Fanar of wanting to build a foreign enclave in the country, or create extra-territorial rights similar to those enjoyed by Vatican City.  Accusations which the Patriarchate has repeatedly denied, asking instead that is basic rights be recognised. 

“Dangerous” precedent

 The Supreme Court sentencing is an alarm bell given the precedents.  In 1947 the same Court contested the right to property of minority religious foundations, as was set out by a 1933 ruling.  That ruling legalized all of the properties bought to that date and allowed for the acquisition of new properties.  With the 1947 sentence religious foundations were arbitrarily stripped of all property bought after 1933. (NT)

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/29/2008 TURKEY
Divided in Ravenna, Russian and Estonian Orthodox to talk
12/01/2005 TURKEY
Closer dialogue between Vatican and Ecumenical Patriarchate
11/30/2010 TURKEY
The Turkish government now recognises us officially, says Bartholomew I
by NAT da Polis
12/18/2008 TURKEY - RUSSIA
Bartholomew I: Turkish bureaucracy is trying to make us disappear
by NAT da Polis
04/28/2008 TURKEY
Ecumenical patriarch: Easter, Christ’s victory over death belongs to all Christians
by NAT da Polis

Editor's choices
IRAQ
The children of Mosul and the future: the "five-star" refugee camp
by Bernardo CervelleraIn the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children's choir. Fr. Douglas: "Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations ... The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope."
IRAQ
Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency
by Bernardo CervelleraThere are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood.
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.