Skip to comments.Ecumenical Patriarch says no to Hagia Sophia as a mosque, yes to Christian worship
Posted on 03/06/2014 3:46:32 AM PST by markomalley
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I expressed a resounding no to the reopening of Constantinople's Hagia Sophia as a mosque. In fact he said that if it "must be returned to religious worship, that can only be for Christian worship."
Bartholomew's statement came on the eve of Sinaxis, the meeting of all the heads of Orthodox Churches, gathered at the initiative of the Phanar, and can be considered as a response to persistent rumours circulating in sectors in Turkish society close to the ruling AKP party.
The remarks were made during the homily the ecumenical patriarch addressed to a large group of students and visiting scholars at the Phanar. Such visits are part of a series of educational trips frequently organised by foreign and Turkish groups.
"With these trips and visits, you are given the opportunity to come into contact with the entire Christian tradition that has developed in these lands," Bartholomew said, which are "based on the Greek language and culture, and emphasise the importance of Christian ideas and life. This is why you should always enrich and deepen your research and knowledge. "
"Hagia Sophia, a place of reference for everyone, is evidence of the historic and lasting presence of Christian ideas in these lands," he added.
"Certainly, you have not missed persistent rumours circulating lately within certain sectors of Turkish society to reopen Hagia Sophia as a mosque," the ecumenical patriarch noted.
"We shall oppose it, and all Christians, be they Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant, shall be with us," Bartholomew said.
"Hagia Sophia," he concluded, "was built to bear witness to the Christian faith and if it must be returned to religious worship, that can only be for Christian worship."
For all of you all who have been thrilled with Sultan Erdogan returning Christian worship spaces, he is just making a down payment on re-taking Hagia Sophia for use as a mosque. +Bartholomew knows as much...and so should you.
I was so moved by people from all over the world saying the rosary at Hagia Sophia. It seems to come from the spirit to say, “Hail Mary,” in that holy place.
Deconsecrated or not, it is still holy and one can still feel the Presence.
I have to say that the Blue Mosque felt like an empty tomb, a hole in the universe, Nothing present.
God Bless Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I for standing up to the Muslims in regards to Hagia Sophia!
.....Strange, considering that he does have the copy of Hagia Sophia which is also is known as “the Blue Mosque”.
Russia, as in old Russia, has wanted the Hagia Sophia back in Christian hands for hundreds of years.
Also there is an old prophecy about the Rus returning and taking Constantinople. Back then the Rus were pagan Vikings.
The Patriarch may be playing chess.
Hagia Sophia is a grim reminder of the division of the Church, the Body of Christ. Let’s go back in time.
Two excerpts from Roger Crowleys 1453 book on the fall Constantinople:
May 27th, 1453: Late in the afternoon the people of the city, seeking religious solace, converged for the first time in five months on the mother church of St. Sophia. The dark church which had been so conspicuously boycotted by the Orthodox faithful was filled with people, anxious, penitent, and fervent, and in the first time since the summer of 1064, in the ultimate moment of need, it seems that Catholic and Orthodox worshipped together in the city, and the 400 year old schism and the bitterness of the Crusades were put aside in a final service of intercession.
Pope Pius, Mantua, 1459:
We ourselves allowed Constantinople, the capital of the east, to be conquered by the Turks. And while we sit at home in ease and idleness, the arms of these barbarians are advancing to the Danube and the Sava. In the Eastern imperial city they have massacred the successor of Constantine along with his people, desecrated the temples of the Lord, sullied the noble edifice of Justinian with the hideous cult of Muhammad. They have destroyed the images of the mother of God and other saints, overturned their altars, cast the relics of the martyrs to the swine, killed the priests, dishonored women and young girls, even the virgins dedicated to the Lord, slaughtered the nobles of the city at the sultans banquet, carried off the image of our crucified Saviour to their camp with scorn and mockery amid cries of That is the God of the Christians and befouled it with mud and spittle. All this happened beneath our very eyes, but we lie in a deep sleep Mehmer will never lay down arms except in victory or total defeat. Every victory for him a stepping-stone to another, until, after subjecting all the princes of the West, he has destroyed the Gospel of the Christ and imposed the law of his false prophet upon the whole world.”
Somber words not far from our present world. Jesus, help us.