19 April, 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


» 03/31/2011
CYPRUS-TURKEY
Chrysostomos of Cyprus: no desire for “human rights” war with Turkey
by NAT da Polis
The Orthodox archbishop talks to AsiaNews about the situation on the island occupied by Turkey, the risks to Christianity in the Middle East and for interreligious dialogue. No clash of civilizations, he says, but the need for greater coordination among Christians, also to help Muslims of good will.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos, head of a small Church but one that has been a historic bridge between Europe and the Middle East, has concluded his visit to the Vaticam. On 28 March, the archbishop had several meetings culminating in an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The visit, in the words of Chrysostomos, was aimed to raise awareness  of the situation among members of the Holy See, so as to coordinate efforts to face the dangers threatening the future and survival of Christians in the Middle East and Cyprus in a region affected by protests and upheaval that have an uncertain outcome.

Regarding the situation of Christians in Cyprus, according to Chyrsostomos, the greatest dangers lie in Ankara’s continued occupation of the northern part of the island, which began in 1974. The first consequence was the division of the island and the total separation of the two ethnic groups, Greek and Turkish, Christian and Muslim respectively. The second consequence has been arrival of 300 thousand settlers from Turkey in the occupied north with the aim of altering the demography of the island, arriving at a lasting Islamization of that part of the island, thanks to their fertility rates.

All this happens under the watchful eye of 40 thousand Turkish soldiers. Thereby reducing the role of the 65 thousand Turkish Cypriots who have remained in the area. Before the invasion they numbered 180 thousand. The Turkish Cypriots are in a permanent state of dispute with the settlers and Ankara; they have always set themselves apart from the settlers through a completely different mentality, characterized by a sense of civic responsibility and tolerant mutual coexistence.

"We made clear to the Holy Father, Chrysostomos continues, that while the whole world is mobilized in the war for so-called human rights, we do not want any war in our favour, but since there is a country that is a candidate to enter the EU, it would suffice that the latter require Turkey to accept and respect the EU’s founding principals, the easiest and most civil way forward”.

Chrysostomos firmly rejects our question on whether there is a clash of civilizations between what many sustain a Western “Christian vision of the world” and a juxtaposing Eastern Islamic vision. Indeed this crisis, this economic and social stagnation affects all humanity, says the Archbishop of Cyprus, adding that he knows many Muslim leaders who are people of good will. And I hope they will not be sent away, "this is one reason - he says – why we Christians must coordinate our efforts in order to also be useful to those people of good will."

As for the dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, especially in light of an apparent stalemate that occurred during the last meeting in Vienna, Chrysostomos tells us that he met with Cardinal. Kurt Koch, co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, and discussed with him the importance of dialogue. Without giving details, he adds: "The Church of Cyprus is in favour of dialogue and is represented by two high profile figures, the Metropolitan of Paphos and Kostantias. Our church, though it is a small church from the numerical point of view, is held in great esteem within the Orthodox world, and it should be noted that the twenty-first century will be defined as the century of dialogue, because without dialogue with our neighbour, we will never realise a truly human society".

On the issue of pan-Orthodox dialogue, Archbishop Chrysostomos expresses his opinion that the stalemate resulting from the last pan-Orthodox meeting in Chambesy, was born of some positions of the Church of Moscow. "This negative situation in which we have arrived in the Orthodox world, continues Archbishop Chrysostomos, is partly due to the fact that all we introduce ourselves as national churches. In other words, we are first Greeks, Russians, Arabs, Slavs, etc.. And then Orthodox Christians. What should be united by our faith and not our national origin as I said in my last visit to Moscow. So if we want to move forward in the sense of achieving a true single entity, we have to leave aside our national origins and think of ourselves instead in terms being Orthodox Christians".

Finally, with regard to Europe and evangelization, Chrysostomos recalls a conversation he had with Benedict XVI during the Pope's visit to Cyprus. The pontiff said that Europe needs to be re-evangelized. "This is the reason, the archbishop concludes, why all churches: Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, must embrace their flock. In short we must understand the demands of our people and hear their cries, if we want to really be Church”.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/16/2007 VATICAN
Pope and Archbishop of Cyprus, “constant comittment” to Church Unity
10/27/2009 VATICAN - ORTHODOX
Long, but with no alternative, the march of ecumenical dialogue
by NAT da Polis
08/14/2007 TURKEY
Ankara cancels Istanbul visit by archbishop of Cyprus
10/19/2009 VATICAN - ORTHODOX
Metropolitan Zizoulas: Defend ecumenical dialogue against those who oppose it
by NAT da Polis
09/29/2006 TURKEY - VATICAN
Pope in Turkey to have bearing on ecumenism, ties with Islam, human rights
by Franco Pisano

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

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.