Thursday, September 30, 2010

OCA 101: for Isa and the Lost Sheep

This is so basic my newly turned three year old gets it. Her art may be abstract but the history is basic. Hieromonk Joshua provided this on a FACEBOOK thread on my homepage. I think it's a homerun.

"The OCA was started in 1970, from what my history books say. It was a completely new entity that gained its standing from a TOTALLY subjugated Orthodox patriarchate that had NO FREEDOM to give "autocephaly" autonomously and free from political constraints of the atheistic communist government. Alaska and the West Coast were Russian parishes (NOT on Russian soil but American soil) and they were passed to, in the confusion and aftermath of the Russian Revolution, to numerous subdivisions of the fractured Russian Church and other churches who came in to protect their own ethnic Orthodox populations. Obviously, ROCOR has been officially recognized as the sole retainer of that Russian ecclesiastical patrimony by the Russian Orthodox Church and NOT the OCA.

By the very fact that Met. Jonah has said that the OCA "can dissolve" indicated from the highest levels of the OCA that it is ONLY a transitional "medium" as I understand the organizational documents, or at least the "oral tradition" seemed to indicate. Now, when one understands that ROCOR is NOW the ONLY approved extension of the Russian Church it makes sense that ROCOR will become the repository for all OCA parishes and institutions in the transition to a united American Orthodoxy. The Universal Orthodox Church DID NOT APPROVE nor SANCTION any autonomy or autocephaly -- therefore it is an extension of charity (mostly economy) by the Mother Churches (with the "First in Honor" being the EP in consultation and synodia with all the Mother Churches) to slowly but consistently work to bring the OCA into actually recognized canonical Churches. It is the Church Universal which grants autonomy or autocephaly and this is what the next Episcopal Conference is about."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fr. Ted Bobosh, OCA Is It Any Wonder?

Fr. Ted's commentary on the Episcopal Assembly is complete with rhetoric, misgivings, distortions and a blatant bias. His editorial though it claims to welcome discussion is framed from the onset in such a way, positioning dissenters to his delusional state and false assertions, as morally inferior and intellectually deficient.

The nationalistic bantering of the OCA is reminiscent of adolescents decrying the sage advice of the parents who nurture their every need. While denouncing anything Greek or moderately 'ethnic' they wave their ethnophyletism behind the banner of  'liberty or schism' the ultimate patriotism.

Perhaps he is getting ahead of himself. After all unity of Orthodox jurisdictions in America can't be broached until discrepancies in protocol and ecclesiastical practices are uniform. There is much talk about language and translation, tones and scales, while larger concerns abound. Perhaps such discussions are rightly shelved, until more alarming discrepancies in practice, with their more pressing theological concerns facing our church, are rectified. These were itemized concisely by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios (GOA) at the Episcopal Assembly.

Additionally Fr. Ted like the OCA hierarchy and clergy at large, forgo any discussion on the provisional status of their autocephaly. Rather then moving to go through the appropriate channels with humility they have emboldened themselves and push to discredit any outcome which doesn't serve their limited understanding and interest. They are seeking with pride, like the deceiver, wishing to establish themselves independent of the Conciliar Church. They have replaced the will of the the Church with their own will.

They have misunderstood the zeal of the convert for wisdom; like youth who envision a world without hunger yet have never grown a single fruit or paid a single debt. Too many if their clerics come from the ranks of converts who failed to pastor in their former sects. They are still infected with an anti-papal sentiment, anti-establishment and in a last ditched attempt to show the Pope and Catholicism, they have a 'religious' conversion outside the Papacy. They now unconsciously refuse foreign patriarchates fighting old battles which do not apply.

Additionally they continue with the phronima of the Great Commission faulting 'the Greeks' for not proselytizing, in the way their limited understanding has distorted the sharing of the Gospel. What they do differently then their heretical counterparts is reject the Greek. They find it offensive and outlandish to their sensibilities to expect clerics to learn the language of the New Testament. Now in a state of being saved, seeking citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven is it really too much to expect they dedicate themselves as part of their ministry to learning the language? God saw fit to bring His son at a time when linguistically the Lord's message could most widely be received, at a time when language had reached its zenith; and we reject it and marginalize it finding it an offense! Even heritics (protestants) reference the Greek!

The notion that the OCA is the indigenous church in North America is ludicrous in fact sadly the only indigenous 'church' (to use the term loosely) is the Church of Mormon.

Given the choice between leaving my Mother Church and following a makeshift assembly of lesser hierarchs I'll have to pass. The Mother Church is the foundation for the faith, the keepers of the faith: time tested, esteemed and established by our Lord. The OCA is but a hiccup in the history of our church and will either come to its senses and get on board with the whole of Orthodoxy or it will fail to even be a footnote 100 years from now. If that offends don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Religious Freedom Run is not just Exercise

Religious Freedom Run is not just exercise

Join and Pledge!!!!

Week One of training is completed. Four runs including your first long run is ticked off for a weekly total of 15 miles. I can honestly say this week has been trying even though the mileage is still low. This resistance has to be the result of some psychic pushing. Week one is only a mental milestone the mileage is not bumped up in the least from last week. Run well pray more. Stick with it don't quit or you learn nothing you can't Run for Religious Freedom if you don't have the fortitude to train. Be tenacious over something beneficial. I know running is work. Work is synonymous with running which may be defined as "force times distance resulting in motion".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Best of the Worst Part

I should have taken Xena out for a run. Today was positively one of the worst runs in recent days. I know it is mental as we mark week one in training. I hardly appreciated any of it. There was nothing introspective or obviously beneficial to this run except this need to get it out of the way. I was nauseated and stiff from the collar bone up. There was no escaping the lack of sync. The stride was awkward. Nevertheless my character is better for it. The difficult runs make me punch through. The pressure, stress and discomfort  forge the gem polish it. The inner strength creates the outer form. After all if it was always fun then even lazy people would do it. At least I wasn't stranded far from home stuck on a run.

The Great Lenten Prayer of St Ephraim:

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power and idle talk.

But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brothers and sisters. For blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.

O God, cleanse Thou me a sinner (12 times, with as many bows, and then again the whole prayer from the beginning throughout, and after that one great prostration)

Phanar News: Episcopal Assembly

Episcopal Assembly
"Meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had on Tuesday afternoon in the lighthouse, members of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of America Hierarchs, led by Archbishop Demetrios of America, chairman of the Assembly.
The meeting was attended by Vice-President of the Assembly, Russian Archbishop Narofominsk Justinian, Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis of Ukrainian Diaspora (treasurer) and Bishop Basil of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of America, based in Wichita, Kansas.
The Assembly of the Orthodox Hierarchs of America was constituted and met for the first time last May in New York. The first meeting attended fifty-five bishops who minister to Orthodox Christians of various nationalities in the New World."
--Nick Magginas

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Episcopal Assembly Executive Board at Holy Patriarchate of Constantinople

Episcopal Assembly Executive Board
at Holy Patriarchate of Constantinople

"Meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had Tuesday afternoon members of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of America Hierarchs led by Archbishop Demetrios of America, chairman of Synelefeseos. The meeting was attended by Vice President of the Assembly, Russian Archbishop Narofominsk Justinian, Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis of Ukrainian Diaspora (treasurer), Bishop Basil of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of America, based in Wichita, Kansas. The Assembly of the Orthodox Hierarchs of America was constituted and met for the first time last May in New York. The first meeting attended fifty-five bishops who minister to Orthodox Christians of various nationalities in the New World."

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Official Marathon Training Kickoff

The official kick off for the marathon training season has begun! Let's support our team of runners from our team Run for Religious Freedom! Please visit the Cause on Facebook: Join and donate to the Order of Saint Andrew. Don't under estimate the impact of even a small pledge. Donating even a dollar a mile $26.20 will increase exponentially as others make their donations. Let's send the message that we all care about religious freedom as a fundemental human right.
Please Note: our new home for all training updates.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Patriarch Bartholomew the last Patriarch?

The following blog post (site name intentionally omitted) spouts the same demonic advice given Eve by Satan.

It is said to be a reaction on CNN coverage of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
"This topic has been on my mind in the past many a time… With the Halki Theological School closed and the need by Turkish law for the Patriarch to be a citizen of Turkey, the odds that a successor will be elected (and approved by the Turkish government–another necessary factor) are very slim. What are some possible options for the Orthodox Church after Bartholomew’s reign ends? One could be to move the seat of the Patriarchate from Constantinople elsewhere, perhaps to Greece or another country, and gain the freedom that the Patriarchate has been lacking during its presence in Turkey. Or perhaps it could even merge with one of the other existing Patriarchates in Alexandria, Antioch, or Jerusalem. What are your thoughts?
Personally, I can picture this as an opportunity for all of the Patriarchate’s archdioceses to become autocephalous from the Patriarchate, or from any higher authority for that matter. These archdioceses in many different areas of the world could follow in the footsteps of the Churches of Greece and Cyprus, who both gained autocephaly from the Patriarchate. (These archdioceses include those in America, Australia, Crete, Great Britain, and Italy.) Foremost, though, it would be wonderful to see the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America become completely independent, in order to continue the work of His Eminence, the late Archbishop Iakovos of America. Archbishop Iakovos, of blessed memory (2005), strongly pushed a movement to unify the numerous Orthodox churches within the United States (Greek, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Antiochian, etc.) during the 1990s. A major event, known as the Ligonier Meeting, took place in late 1994 where about thirty Orthodox hierarchs in America came together to “get the ball rolling” and create one “American Orthodox Church.” Unfortunately, Patriarch Bartholomew did not like the idea of the Greek Archdiocese in America loosening its ties to Constantinople to form a unified American Church. It is believed that he feared losing financial and political (anti-Turkish) backing from America. In any event, to prevent the ‘power-hungry’ Iakovos from becoming “Patriarch of America,” Bartholomew forced Archbishop Iakovos to resign in the summer of 1996.
Just think about this: what would Orthodoxy in America be like today if we had been independent of the Ecumenical Patriarch? I am positive that the Greek Archdiocese would have at least gained autonomy if not autocephaly from Constantinople, and would have even stronger ties to the scattered and divided churches here in America. Autocephaly and a unified “American Orthodox Church” would be so beneficial in so many ways–the church could make its own decisions, elect its own leaders, and push to break the tenacious international barriers that exist today."
"Comments are closed."
OCL Mouthpiece: The Hellenic Orthodox Info Center "BLOG" recently wrote a piece about the CNN video about "The Last Patriarch" and goes on to suggest autocephaly... what’s new? The anonymity of cyberspace is a breading ground for deception.
Whoever wrote this blog entry seems lost. From the very beginning of this entry despair grips the author. Its no surprise he suggests and supports the futile efforts of the OCL, with comments like: “The odds are slim that a successor will be elected” and “one could move the Patriarchate from Constantinople” or “merge with another Patriarchate”. What are my thoughts? You are delusional! Did you listen to the video? His All Holiness clearly says "We are not all in despair for the future of our church," Ah then the rub ‘autocephaly’ “…from any higher authority… completely independent” and “break the tenacious international barriers” The overriding tone of the blog is misleading and hides an agenda of ecclesiastic independence and not genuine concern for the Great Church of Constantinople. The Ecumenical Patriarch insists. "We trust a divine providence, and the guarantee given to us by our Lord himself, that the church can survive.” This is our faith, this is our conviction, this is our hope, this is our prayer. And all the rest we leave at the hands of God." Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also said. "It is not easy, but it is not impossible." He rejects conjecture that he could be the last Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. This blog is full of conjecture. The author decries the unjust conditions imposed by the ‘secular’ Turks but the real enemies of the Throne are insidiously working from within the Church.
My commentary would be to remind such subversive groups and the small minded individuals to uphold those agendas: His All-Holiness cannot be deterred and will not be intimidated His strength is renewed like the eagle. The See of Constantinople established by the Apostle Andrew The First Called has survived: The Roman Empire, The Byzantine Empire, The Ottoman Empire and will survive the Turkish State.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

true measure of success, delluded thinking and you

One's definition of success:
An honest portrait of what is valued may be determined by which accolades are sought after; telling a more accurate accounting of what the individual really serves. If professional acclaim and self-promotion is what drives the individual then choices and effort is expended accordingly. Family, health and inter-connectedness is another. What we do and how we identify our goals is what defines the nature of the person with more precision  then sweeping statements and professions of faith. In actuality the reality may be a completely unrelated ideal that we have of ourselves. Lifetimes are spent in denial about what we really want where our treasure is.
It is not possible to actually put God first when the time spent seeking Him and strengthening that relationship and exchange, is always taking a back seat to the popular seen, work, financial ambition, social climbing or socializing. The notion that attending church services regularly don't directly impact day to day living is fool hearty. The declaration that attending church occasionally is sufficient in the making of a 'good christian' and defending non attendance by asserting that churches are filled with hypocrites. However this runs contrary to actual experience. In actuality the persons making such assertions would never make such claims or uphold this fallacious belief about any other topic or relationship in their lives. They will argue that occasional binge drinking has little to effect on their overall functioning, character, personal drive, health or judgement somehow church twice a year will. They would readily acknowledge that going to the gym once a week is non-productive and certainly is not a sign of fitness.
Interestingly those individuals are always searching for that one break. Success doesn't happen that way. Such individuals are completely lost in their quest, consistently affirming the wrong arguments and insisting that all objective indicators which support the contrary, are in some way beside the point. They are much like the the alcoholic who makes room only for alcohol and dismisses the wreckage as somehow incidental.  A successful life is built on the foundations of the orthodox worldview, on the basics of a responsible citizenry, and at a minimum on increments of learning associating and familiarizing oneself with the way of God. Breakthroughs are the result of concerted effort overtime with diligence and should be approached as an ultra marathon not a 50 yard dash.
Untold human potential lay waste to fantastical dreams and whimsical ambition and 'intuition'. I often tell people when departing from their company 'go with God'. If you are with Him your journey will be secured; regardless of the outcome because the course is established by the company you keep. I don't know how to explain this to younger, more ambitious, self confident types who fail to discern that over confidence is also weakness and liability if misapplied. I don't know how to explain this to the youth of today who have all the accolades of their parent's diligence, hard-work and success. All the high-minded, snooty pleasures, superficial beauty without any of the exertion effort or personal accomplishment. There is a trend of entitlement which is sweeping this nation which is telling youth (and all of us really) how much we deserve over inflating our self image and self esteem.
You no longer hear the cries of 'poor self esteem' because the egotistical beast is fed daily. We have become a society which grips the mouse or stylus while looking aimlessly into the abyss of the pretty little lights like a junkies. We have become stupefied exchanging actual currency: reality with a forgery. With each click each nano second we are immediately rewarded with pretty pictures and intellectual numbing. Our view of reality has never been so challenged so that we are no longer even seeking the deeper things, the eternal but only the immediate. Get unplugged from the matrix and you will find that you not only survive but you thrive.
Tweet no more!!! Shut the cell: very, very, very, very, few people need you that badly. When my phone rings I only answer about 15% of the time. I only check who's calling if my children are not with me. Everyone else doesn't need me on demand and you know what: everyone survives! In fact the only people who are bothered by this fact are those who wish I were bound to the immediacy of their call;  those who wish to serve their own interest or intrude.
The cares of this life will choke off your spiritual side. They will boast of your big thinking and super faith as sufficient enough you're 'covered'.  Feed your spirit, your soul is the only thing which can't be taken from you can't be stolen. Only you can neglect it and forsake it. Only you can defend and nuture it. If you don't careabout God and that relationship it won't just grow itself. It is the one aspect of yourself the one part of your health and real life that is totally within your control.

Friday, September 3, 2010

On the Road to Marathon

Join the Team Run for Religious Freedom. I ask the Holy Trinity to bless our effort and support our personal effort on our journey to share our faith through action with our neighbors. This blog will be available to all members and on-lookers to share and inquire. Our Lord is made perfect in our weakness and despite our inadequacy we accept the marathon challenge and will take concrete steps to witness our faith and demonstrate our commitment to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. My hope is to have one hundred participants race day and thousands of supporters. Come run with me where two or more are gathered He is among us.

Dear Runners,
We are almost at two week milestone to Official Training.  Don't keep effort  a secret share it with everyone in your address book and on Facebook. It will help your personal effort and of course the mission of the team. Be sure you are keeping up with your pre training. Please email me your contact telephone and email so we can keep in touch.
Great job in getting involed intaking charge of your health and proactively supporting the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This week your task is to take charge. Register for the Disney Marathon or Half Marathon if you are a minor.You are a part of this fight against religous discrimination and oppression. Register directly for the Disney Marathon or Half and tell everyone you know about this event.
I am currenlty seeking regional facilitators who can assist participants in your local areas with long runs. If you are interested please notify me by email Runners of every ability are encouraged to participate. If you would like to becomea sponsor please do so.

This week: If you are already a runner continue to run at least 4 times a week. If you are just beginning, awesome!! Your task run or jog 3 miles or run for thirty minutes which ever comes first. Repeat four days this week. Post your input on this blog. It is imperative for all participants to log mileage, time and a brief summary on the run. Rate your run 1-10 a perceived rate of exertion.

Take the Challenge Support The Ecumencial Patriarch Transform Your Life

The marathon is the gold standard for athletic merit or excellence and we will use it to demonstrate our commitment to our church. We will train together in our own cities serving as a witness (martyria).

Through our joint effort our communion (koinonia) we will testify our faith and commitment to the Mother Church. Simply invite friends and family to take this challenge and experience the spiritual, physical and psychological transformation!

With only few hours a week you can devote yourself to a life changing experience and raise awareness of the orthodox faith. By following your weekly training schedule and journaling your progress and sharing your struggle you will grow in unforseen ways.

By choosing this peak life eperience, the training and completion of a marathon (26.2 miles) you act in faith and rejecting doubt and dispense with folkore which tells you its not possible.

Training workshops like these would cost in the hundreds but this is a free program.
*Be Sure to register for the Disney World, Flordia MARATHON 2011 today space is limited. Half Marathon has also been added for youth! Family 5K also available.

The Run for Religious Freedom Starts with YOU

Calling all runners all orthodox christians to run the good race. I am currenly providing a nation-wide, free of charge, team-in-training program for Orthodox Christians. Its purpose is to create a presence of Orthodox Christians in the running community by networking through the internet nationally and assist local communities begin small running groups to bridge the distance and address our individual need for koinonia.

As the founder and team leader I will provide a four day a week beginner training schedule to everyone who is interested to assist beginners to run their first marathon, while inviting veterans to share their experiences. The main function of this forum will be to share Orthodoxy with fellow runners to create a real sense of community and to ultimately raise awareness of the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Our first event will be the Disney Marathon 2011. This is a great venue and is very family friendly. Official training begins September. Training schedules will be provided for all fitness levels. Make the commitment to yourself, your church and your Patriarch.

Without challenge there can be little meaningful and intelligent change. Challenge yourself by embarking on this journey. Let's raise awareness about Orthodoxy and the current oppression of the Mother Church. All journeys begin with a single step. This grassroots effort begins with you making the first simple and practical steps. The run for religious freedom is open to all Orthodox Christians.

Please contact me for more information and details about training groups in your local area.


I take a bold, no excuse approach to living. This approach is applied to my personal and professional life and has made me a well sought after speaker. From early childhood I found myself interested in and questioning primary things: the purpose of life, my relationship to God to others, authentic living, prayer, etc.

Concluding through my early thinking and later experience and education that there exists concretely the opportunity for optimism, for grasping reality and acceptance of "things as they are" without becoming a slave to circumstances. I understood that these things are tied together. My no non-sense, good humour reminds me of the words of Hermes Tresmegistus. The pagan Hermes prayed to God many days troubled by many unanswered questions, until there appeared before him "The Shepherd of Mankind." The Shepherd said, "God has seen your sincerity and your concern and I have been sent to answer any question you have. What do you want to know." Hermes said, "I want to know God and things as they are." This wisdom is reflected in my zeal for living, zeal for my faith, for the church and for my mission, which is discovering the truth, that is, things as they are. Only when one is willing to observe things as they are, is one equipped to creatively make things better. With this goal for myself and those whom I coaches, I am self motivated and internally driven.

Discovering by experience that dramatic change is doable when turning away from cultural folklore, which tells us that what is better is not possible. I teaches that although one is to learn "the reality of the thing" that is "things as they are" one is never to assume that the status quo is the only possibility.I'm not shy about setting what some might call "super goals"; how else is real change ever possible? In my coaching paradigm, unwarranted self doubt and defeatist ideologies hold no place.

Challenge: Without challenge there can be little meaningful and intelligent change. I  lovingly challenge you to embark on a journey to a more creative life, to a personhood that is centered, introspective and strength-based (truth based). I believe and have seen demonstrated in the lives of those who choose so, the curative nature of faith and the healing path of commitment. All journeys begin with a single step; the ancient sage knew full well. So this journeyman's therapeutic methodology if first, common sense, that is, knowing the healing power of taking the first simple and practical steps to appreciate and understand ones own humanity, ones own personhood, ones place and possibilities in the living of this life.

Help me help you.

People look everywhere outside of themselves for fulfilment. Some of the sages called this "being scattered." What is fulfilment but a state of our inner-self? A lonely person is lonely even when surrounded by a crowd of people; a bitter person, an angry person the same. People too often believe that circumstances govern who and what they are; that circumstances dictate how they feel. I wish to help those grown scattered and/or isolated.

You are by nature creative, resourceful and capable of finding the answers that break old habits of behaviour and patterns of thinking that have not worked. It is my role to encourage and guide; to both point to your path and help you walk it. We all need a companion upon the way. My goal is to empower you by supporting every good habit and pattern of thought and behaviour, to identify the things that harm and to augment your own skill set, become a part of your resource base, and spur creativity. All true healing is creative.

 Life is too short to live it unintelligently, to accept circumstances as absolute and unchangeable, and to fall short of fulfilling our talents and abilities. It is also our responsibility as a human, to become truly human, to open our hearts to the good uses and the full range of human emotion. A person "scattered" is also malformed, blocked as it were, from their own best self.

Getting from where we are now, to where we really want to be always requires change. There is one absolute, change is painful. But also absolute is the fact that failure to change is spiritual and emotional paralysis, the stunting of development, how we become malformed. Failure to change is the abandonment of our own humanity, and our potential as a human being. Such people merely mark time till death, unable to find meaning in even the most meaningful things life has to offer. Perhaps together we will discover where change is needed, where change is possible and when you are ready we will walk the path of change together.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Turkish State Telegraphs Neurosis while Ecumenical Patriarch has super fatigue-resistance

Liberation from oppressive regimes is a no brainer right? It's easy to fight for the right to literacy, safety in our homes, to speak truth to power, to feed the hungry. Most would easily concede basic rights for the protection of children from sweatshops and families from years of servitude. Yet even with the fundamental civil liberties we relish in America many can't cross over to protest religious freedom violations in other countries. The very pursuit of religious freedom the bedrock of American culture is somehow negotiable and a luxury. As with the case in the State of Turkey for example Americans seem complacent with this issue.
Americans are appeased almost relieved that Turkey touts its official and current status as a secular democracy. Let's review these terms. Turkey is run essentially by an army or militant minded regime who protects it own interests from religious interference. Forbidding expressions of anything deemed anti-Turkish sentiment. The possible conversion from Islam to Christianity is  punishable by law.
Suggestions that the "Greek" Patriarch should consider leaving the "Turkish" Phanar, for Greece if conditions are unacceptable to Him (and obviously deplorable), is offensive. Perhaps American progressives should look at this assault on human rights through a more familiar prism: suggest that all African Americans should consider going back to Africa if they don't like their 'second class' status or the way things are run. This is obviously an unacceptable position by any measure of human decency or dignity or integrity.
Essentially it would be and is a failed human rights policy and yet it's been suggested by reporters on national forums, overlooked by many politicians and civil rights advocates while continuing to be grumbled in hallways. They are even making statements about "the last Patriarch" like they are trying to gauge our acceptance, comfort and sensitivity levels to this outrageous notion.
Turkey has obvious human rights violations and PR problems. In this democratic secular state freedom of expression is limited defined by an ideal of Turkishness or the party line; where everything Turkish or Muslim is the exception not open for debate or dialogue; as everything Christian, even institutions like The Ecumenical Patriarchate, is a free for all, whose liberty and property rights are continuously kept under the thumb of a few government officials. Turkey could easily embrace the Phanar as part of their ancient heritage and redefine or reform turkishness to include its rich history and not merely spew nationalism barely tolerating others but engaging in an exchange of mutual respect for all.
The unilateral assertions and decisions of government officials  denying the official Ecumenical status of the Patriarchate, would be as if I denied the intrinsic and historical role of the exiled Dalai Llama. It is really not within my purview to credibly renounce what his followers affirm. For the Turkish government to deny what the  world understands, as the role of the Ecumenical Patriarch which is acknowledged by 350,000,000 Orthodox Chrisitans and other Christians, from other denominations like a billion Roman Catholics; is neurotic and leads to erratic behaviors and bad policy.
They may likewise deny the duality of Christ, The Trinity, the Crucifixion and Resurrection but they cannot make claims for  who Christ is to His believers, to those of us to hail Him as King. Turks can not dictate the terms of our devotion, expressed in the Holy Orthodox Church with The Ecumenical Patriarch as our head. They cannot dictate the tenants of our Faith or to Whom we offer our life of servitude as an offering.
Furthermore for them to argue that any divergent worldviews are anti-Turkish telegraphs the insecurity of the Turkish State its neurosis and medieval thinking shaking it to its very foundation.
The Ecumenical Patriach has super-fatigue-resistance as I've mentioned in other blog entries. His All-Holiness cannot be deterred and will not be intimidated His strength is renewed like the eagle. The See of Constantinople established by the Apostle Andrew The First Called has survived: The Roman Empire, The Byzantine Empire, The Ottoman Empire and will survive the Turkish State. The message of true Christian love transcends culture, race, era and worldy regimes.