08/28/2007, 00.00
TURKEY
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The Ecumenical Patriarchate opens its Synod

There are 100 bishops gathered in Phanar. On the agenda, the current point in the campaign against Bartholmew I, generated by Buijidar Cipof, the schismatic Bulgarian Exarch. The Patriarch announces a visit to Premier Erdogan, to have a “sincere answer” regarding the reopening of the Theological college of Halki.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – In the midst of rigid but controlled security measures put in place to avoid extremist provocation, the Great Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate opened yesterday in the Phanar. Over 100 bishops from all across the world will take part in the event.  The Synod will also be informed of the recent decision taken by an Istanbul court to call Bartholomew I to testify, over his use of the title “ecumenical” when referring to the Patriarchate of Constantinople during the second world conference of orthodox youth (11-15 July).

 

The charges against the Patriarch are being brought by the infamous Buijidar Cipof, an ex-Church member of the Bulgarian exarchate of Constantinople which comes under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The beginning of this campaign against Bartholomew I was initiated by a sentence passed last month by the Supreme Court denying the Patriarchate of Constantinople the right to call itself “ecumenical”, because it is a Turkish body.

In the face of these full blown attacks, the Phanar has decided to respond with calm and mediation, trusting in the comprehension of the re-confirmed premier Erdogan and the new President Gul of the same party.

From the very outset, diplomatic circles in Istanbul have believed that behind the schismatic Bulgarian exarchates moves is the shadow of Turkey’s old establishment, who considered themselves to be the true guardians of Kemalism. They seem bent on discrediting the victors of the recent elections at an international level.  “Concerned” for the future of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, above all for the formation of its leaders, Bartholomew I has announced that he will personally visit with premier Erdogan “I pray that he will give us a sincere answer regarding the re-opening if the Halki Theological College, closed down since 1971.(NT)

 

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