Skip to comments.Istanbul: The Historic Meeting Between the Grand Mufti and Patriarch Bartholomew
Posted on 07/06/2012 6:53:04 PM PDT by marshmallow
The meeting marked a new phase of collaboration and interreligious dialogue which had long been impossible. Negotiations also began for the reopening of the Orthodox Halki seminary
Today was a historic day for Istanbul. Turkeys greatest religious authority, the Grand Mufti, Mehmet Görmez, attended a meeting with Bartholomew I, at the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
This was the first time in the history of modern Turkey that the head of the Presidency for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) visited the highest representative of the countrys oldest religion, the Orthodox faith, which has its origins in the Byzantine Empire.
The meeting, which had been scheduled some time ago, was arranged in order to give impetus to interreligious dialogue and push for the re opening of the Orthodox Halki seminary, which the military closed in 1971. For centuries, this seminary was the training place for the upper echelons of the Orthodox Church.
The Grand Mufti addressed this issue in todays meeting with Bartholomew: A country as big as this - Görmez stated should not have to send its clergy abroad to be educated. In other words, if the Halki seminary is not reopened, Bartholomew Is successors will inevitably come from abroad.
The Patriarch said he fully agreed with Görmez, adding that Recep Tayyip Erdogans conservative Islamic government is dealing with the problem in a constructive manner.
In this mornings issue of Turkish daily newspaper Radikal, Huseiyn Celik, former Education minister and Vice Secretary of Akp, stated: It was a mistake to close Halki; not to reopen it would be another mistake. There is no criticism preventing it from being opened; it is a right.
The first discussion between the two religious leaders, which was then followed by a second closed-door.....
(Excerpt) Read more at vaticaninsider.lastampa.it ...
So why does La Stampa’s writer chose to characterize the Grand Mufti as Turkey’s “greatest religious authority”, rather than characterizing the Ecumenical Patriarch as Turkey’s “greatest religious authority”?
If the seminary is closed, the religious leader will have to come from abroad. I don’t think the Turks want anyone outside of Turkey as the Orthodox leaders as this would bring in international scrutiny. An Orthodox leader who is born a Turk and has his whole family in Turkey makes him a hostage to the Turks. I think this is what they want, someone that they can intimidate and control.
Perhaps by the word “greatest” he means “most powerful”. The original article was written in Italian so it could be the translation.