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the endangered Orthodox patriarchate of Constantinople [Catholic / Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic Culture ^ | Phil Lawler

Posted on 09/08/2010 3:39:34 AM PDT by NYer

The Patriarch of Constantinople is the leading figure in the Orthodox world, the “first among equals” of the Orthodox patriarchs. So it is no small matter that the current Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, could be the last man to hold that title.

On the Get Religion site, Terry Mattingly calls attention to an unusually informative CNN story on the topic. As CNN reports, the Orthodox community in Constantinople (Istanbul) is dwindling, endangered by falling birth rates, an increasingly assertive (and sometimes violent) Muslim majority in the region, and the Turkish laws that place sharp restrictions on the Orthodox leadership.

But Mattingly observes that the otherwise excellent CNN story misses one other very crucial element. While discussing the Halki Orthodox seminary, which was closed by the government in 1971 and has not yet received permission to re-open, CNN notes that the Orthodox community is consequently suffering from a shortage of young priests. True, says Mattingly. But there’s more:

Yet without the seminary’s monastic community, the Orthodox have no monks and, thus, no bishops, since Eastern Orthodoxy follows the ancient tradition of electing only celibate monks and priests as bishops.

And if there are no Orthodox bishops who are from Turkey and trained in Turkey, this means that — according to Turkish law — there can be no new ecumenical patriarch, since this office must be held by a Turkish citizen.

So at some point in the foreseeable future, there may be no Patriarch of Constantinople. What would that mean for the unity of the Orthodox world? For the prospects of ecumenism? For the future of Christianity? We may find out.  


TOPICS: Current Events; History; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: patriarch; turkey

1 posted on 09/08/2010 3:39:36 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 09/08/2010 3:40:11 AM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer

I wonder if Bloomberg is aware of this Muslim effort at ecumenism. It’s par for the course in Muslim lands.


3 posted on 09/08/2010 4:28:41 AM PDT by Melchior
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To: NYer

And those Turkish laws clearly violate the EU laws even though turkey wants to be in the EU.


4 posted on 09/08/2010 4:30:20 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: NYer

This is absolutely sickening to me. We keep hearing about the poor put-upon muslims in NY trying to build a mosque, when they have hundreds in the state. And here is the government regularly trotted out as an example of moderate or secular Islamic rule, and they are quite literally strangling the life out of the Christian Church in their state. Just sickening.


5 posted on 09/08/2010 12:40:55 PM PDT by cothrige
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