Monday, November 29, 2010
To celebrate the tradition of ownership of the Orphanage of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Büyükada Tuesday 29 November, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressed to bishops, clergy and laity in the Throne Room, said the following about the issue:
"It would be remiss of me if I did not mention in your love in this day and time credit for a great event that happened today in the life and history of the Mother Church and that herein the Diaspora. You understand that I mean issuance and service to us of ownership in the name of our Patriarchate, through the building of orphanages Büyükada us (applause) which, and with it the Orthodox Church and our community, both passed difficult years, because we could not tolerate the injustice we had done so many years of anguish and struggles through the epanapoktisin of this magnificent building of our fathers, which is owned in full and without question.
Lost all the trials are known, and finally had to resort to the European Court of Human Rights, where edikaiothimen.
The Turkish Government have subsequently not pursued an that it was entitled by the anapsilafisi the proceedings, but accepted the decision of the Strasbourg and began then, with all necessary procedures, which estefthisan today and the success it to have at the hands of our midday today, by the hand of our legal advisers and representatives in our peripothiti title.
I repeat and emphasize the name of our Patriarchate, which means not only that the property epanapoktoume us, it means that now the Patriarchate has officially legal personality and has a right to immovable property and if it had no legal personality could fight will not be now in the hands of the title to the Orphanage of the princes.
We hope not to have driven things here that odigithisan because after so many years of struggle and distress reached the same denominator, we say. We came to have back the title we had in our hands and the Ottoman Empire and the period of the Turkish Republic.
We have title in 1929 and wrongly and poorly century upon us tetagmenai ancient and especially the General Directorate of Foundations imfisvitise this title, which the Turkish state itself had given us and odigithimen courts, idikithimen, we accepted, and we again I repeat there from where we started, and unjustly vain ...
Happy ending all good, as we say. Thank goodness sake everyone.
Let it be a lesson and a reminder to us all that we should never apogoitefometha never be pessimistic, you never have to deposit their spiritual weapons, but to continue as a community and as the Great Church of Christ, to agonizometha and have the same competitive spirit and can count against the Providence of God, that God's providence over all human barriers, all human problems, and our exports to each anapsychin.
God knows the ways of the streets and paths, which we can not imagine.
And here is the result of our not ceased nor a time to hope for love and charity of God, until our final vindication. "
Saturday, November 27, 2010
|DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK|
Büyükada orphanage in Istanbul to be transferred to Greek PatriarchateFriday, November 26, 2010
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Procedures to transfer the orphanage on the largest of Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate have been completed and the deed will be delivered to Patriarch Bartholomew on Monday, daily Hürriyet reported Friday.
The patriarchate’s lawyer, Cem Sofuoğlu, said the transfer of the Büyükada orphanage would mark the first time an issue in Turkey related to minority property rights had been resolved without a legal case.
“We are witnessing such an incident for the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic,” Sofuoğlu said. “If there were not the political will, such a conclusion could not result because the case would go to the High Court of Appeals and getting [a decision] in favor of minorities is unfortunately not possible there.”
After paying a fee of 150 Turkish Liras to the Land Registry Office of the Princes’ Islands on Monday, Sofuoğlu will go to the patriarchate, located in Istanbul’s Fener district, and deliver the deed to Patriarch Bartholomew in a ceremony.
The Justice Ministry issued an official statement on the transfer, saying, “There is no alternative other than registering the orphanage to the Fener Greek Patriarchate’s records.”
Noting that both the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry played a significant role in securing the outcome, Sofuoğlu said Turkey had stood by its signed commitment in the European Court of Human Rights and carried out the court’s decision in a period of three months.
“We hope that similar applications will not be impeded with the words ‘however,’ ‘but’ or ‘yet’ from now on and that our courts will take this decision as an example,” Sofuoğlu said.
Foreign Ministry asks for re-registration of Orthodox orphanage to patriarchate
26 November 2010, Friday / İLYAS KOÇ, İSTANBUL
The Foreign Ministry has asked the Ministry of Justice to re-register the historic Büyükada Orthodox Orphanage to the İstanbul-based Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in one of its recent correspondence.
The Foreign Ministry cited an earlier decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to re-register the orphanage to the patriarchate. The court had also told Ankara to pay 26,000 euros in total to the patriarchate for both non-pecuniary damages and costs and expenses. The ministry said the sum has not yet been paid.
The orphanage, one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, was bought by the patriarchate in 1902 and its management was handed over to the Büyükada Greek Orphanage Foundation in 1903. The title deed of the orphanage has been under the control of the General Directorate for Foundations since 1997 and was registered as a property of the Büyükada Greek Orphanage Foundation by the directorate through a court order dated 2004. While the Turkish government argued that the property was sold to the patriarchate at the time by the Şehzade Sultan Mehmet Foundation for the building of an orphanage -- and thus the property rightfully belonged to the Büyükada Greek Orphanage Foundation -- the patriarchate insisted that the property had been registered to the patriarchate in Ottoman Empire archives and was also registered in the land office of the Turkish Republic in 1929, following the establishment of the republic in 1923.
Cem Murat Sofuoğlu, the lawyer for the patriarchate, said it was the first time Turkey agreed to put an ECtHR decision through internal judicial bodies. “It is out of the question that Turkey’s decision is linked to the opinions coming from the two ministries and the General Directorate for Foundations. Turkey made a nice gesture by showing that it respects international conventions and pledges,” he noted.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) called upon the government of Turkey to facilitate the re-opening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Theological School of Halki. He wants this re-opening to happen: “without condition or further delay”.
In his speech addressed to the U.S. Congress on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the forced closure of the institution by the Turkish authorities, he renewed his call for the government of Turkey to allow the seminary to re-open.
Senator Cardin specifically referred to some positive developments which took place this year. For example, the permission for a liturgical celebration at the historic Sumela monastery for the first time since 1922. He also mentioned the Turkish court order for the Buyukada Orphanage to be returned to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, stating that: “if the transfer of the property occurs, this would be another welcome development, potentially paving the way for the return of scores of other church properties seized by the government”.
The U.S. Helsinki Commission has consistently raised the issue of the Theological School for over a decade. It will continue to closely monitor related developments, stated Mr. Cardin. He stressed that this year’s State Department report on religious freedoms serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by Orthodox and other minority religious communities in Turkey.
“I urge the Turkish Prime Minister to ensure respect for the rights of individuals from these groups to freely profess and practice their religion or beliefs in keeping with Turkey’s obligations as an OSCE participating state”, stated Senator Cardin. He added: “The 1989 OSCE Vienna Concluding Document affirmed the right of religious communities to provide training of religious personnel in appropriate institutions. The Theological School of Halki served that function for over a century until its forced closure nearly four decades ago. The time has come to allow the reopening of this unique institution without further delay.”
The world has been on a negative trajectory since it conceded one iota to Islam. We are being conquered in a court of public opinion and invaded by legal charter. This catastrophe beguiles all right minded rational God fearing people. Confusing civilized pretensions with morality is a red herring. The letter of the law likewise is not defense. Historically being a Christian was a death sentence and in many parts of even the civilized world it still is. Proselytizing is punishable by life imprisonment and conversion is punishable by death.
Mohammad was a warring man who paired his political ambitions and demagoguery with heresy. Who could fathom this immature, ill planned, belief system would take off.
Flash forward my RAYA brethren to the Cordoba House Mosque, the bridge building outreach center laughable. A mosque extending goodwill, hardly. It is merely a testament of the brazen audacity of Muslims. If they want to give a show of goodwill then disavow jihad, 911 and stop homicide bombing.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Leftmost Few: America, Meet The Israeli Settlers: "Abuses against the Palestinian people by Israeli Settlers Keep your anger in check as you watch. It is important to know what is going on ..."
Sunday, November 21, 2010
• MUSTAFA AKYOL
Friday, November 19, 2010
BRUSSELS - What brought me to the European capital this time is an international conference organized by the Archons.
Never heard of the Archons before? I, at least, had not heard about them until a few months ago, when they invited me to speak at the “Religious Freedom: Turkey’s Bridge to the European Union” conference, which was held this week right at the European Parliament.
In the time between, I learned that the term “archon,” which originated in Byzantium and stands for pious Orthodox Christian believers who dedicate themselves to the service, and the defense, of their “mother church” – the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Most contemporary Archons are members of the American Greek community who support the Patriarchate by diplomacy and dialogue, besides donations and prayers.
Toying with treason
Besides the Archons themselves, the conference was joined by prominent Orthodox clerics, including Archbishop Demetrios and dozens of Western experts who focus on issues of religious freedom in Turkey. On the Turkish side, there was EU minister Egemen Bağış, who represented the Turkish government, members of various minority groups in Turkey and several Turkish lawyers and journalists.
The take-away message was that religious freedom needs to be enhanced in Turkey for all minority groups – and also for the Muslim majority, as several speakers, including myself, have underlined. As for the specific case of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, two crucial steps are urgently needed: the Halki Seminary, which was tyrannically closed down in 1971 during one of Turkey’s customary military coups, needs to be reopened. And the Turkish authorities simply need to respect the name of the institution.
I am sure some of my fellow Turks will denounce me as a “traitor” for saying that. So be it. But let me at least explain why.
First, I believe that no state, including mine, should have the power to decide how individuals and civil institutions should define themselves. States should exist to respect and protect our freedoms – not to violate them. Therefore it is utterly unacceptable to me that any state can dare to define the name of a religious institution – especially one that has existed for almost two millennia.
Second, Turks actually had no problem with the title “ecumenical” for centuries. Under the Ottoman Empire, the Patriarchate was given full amnesty and autonomy, and no Ottoman authority ever thought of interfering with its name. Even under the Turkish Republic, which has been less liberal than the Ottoman Empire in many aspects, the title of the Patriarchate did not become an issue for a long time.
It was only in the 1990s that some ultra-nationalist ideologues noticed that “ecumenical” means “universal.” This, they furiously noted, implies an authority that surpasses that of the Turkish state. And since worshipping the Turkish state is their raison d’être, they saw a big insult here. Soon, they even manufactured conspiracy theories about the “hidden agenda” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is, supposedly, to build a “new Byzantium” in Istanbul.
My response to this is that the real insult to Turkey is to make it look so paranoid and senseless. The Ecumenical Patriarchate claims a spiritual authority, not a political one. (As Jesus said to Pilate: “my Kingdom is not of this world.”) We Turks should have nothing to say in this spiritual realm, which is simply none of our business.
The third issue at stake is the age-old principle of “reciprocity” between Turkey and Greece in regards to their respective Greek and Turkish minorities. I don’t like that principle, for it regards human rights as a bargaining chip. But even when we take that as a given, why are we following it on a lose-lose basis, by which both the Greek Orthodox in Turkey and the Muslim Turks in Greece get deprived of their freedoms?
Why don’t we rather use Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s famous win-win formula, by setting our Christians free and then asking the Greeks to do the same for their Muslims?
Perhaps, then, Greece can retreat from some of its shameful policies, too – such as not allowing even a single mosque in Athens.
This last point brings me to what I also said at the Archons Conference on Religious Freedom: Turkey, despite all the positive developments in the past decade, still has lots of shortcomings with regards to religious freedom. But this is not an exclusively Turkish problem. The neighboring Greece is hardly any better when it comes to the rights of the Turks in Western Thrace. Bulgaria is fine now, but it carried out a horrible policy of forced assimilation on its Turks in the 1980s. For all these countries, and others in this part of the world, have been haunted by similar fears and poisoned by similarly nationalistic ideologies.
But now is the time to move on, and let freedom reign in the whole region. On the Turkish side, I suggest we start by simply acknowledging that His All Holiness Bartholomew I is the ecumenical patriarch. That will affirm a much-needed respect not just to him and his church – but also to our very selves.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Today in Brussels Turkish Chief Negotiator for Turkey was carefully spoken. More on that in later posting.
What is most newsworthy: During orientation dinner the Archons became aware that just down the hall practically in the next room the Turkish Cypriot Government was celebrating 27th Anniversary for the invasion of Northern Cyprus. This is telling. Turkey is as double-minded and insecure as ever. What a bunch of Turkeys. It doesn't get any more real any more transparent. Talk about a shell game.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
After an uneventful transatlantic flight we arrive in Brussels, Belgium. Gathering bit by bit into a delegation, various participants from the United States: Florida, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, New Jersey and beyond. A short introduction and we are off to the bus shortly arriving at the (Pammageston Taxiarxon) Holy Archangels Cathedral of Brussels of the Holy Metropolis of Belgium and Exarchate of the Low Lands and Luxemburg. Upon arrival we find the Archbishop of Belgium celebrating the Divine Liturgy. As we are seated some have the opportunity to venerate the Holy Relics of St Nectarios of Aegina and Holy Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Neo Martyrs (coincidentally also my home parish in Palm Harbor, FL patron saints).
The church here is lovely full of children and a group in Traditional costumes of the Syllogos of Thraki. The church also was standing room only with hundreds of people. The Liturgy was concelebrated by six priests and several deacons, also in the altar were His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of NJ Fr Chris Metropoulos of OCN and Fr Milton Efthimiou also amongst the ranks of worshippers was Fr Alexander Karloutsos the spiritual advisor of the Order of St Andrew the Apostle the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In the adjacent pews were the members of the Order of Pammakaristos the international branch of Archons.The swell of people in the church was reminiscent of our services in the USA with one difference, the Gospel was sung in Greek and Flemish (the local language I'm told).
Other unique aspects of the church were beautiful tapestries hanging on the eastern wall, banners (laverum) of various saints throughout the church and many devotional stations with icons for veneration circling the church some with relics of saints like I stated earlier.
At the end of Liturgy His Eminence the Archbishop gave a rousing speech welcoming the Archons and reiterating the cause of religious freedom which most of us take for granted. This was followed by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos distributing the antidoron and icons of the Holy Archangels to the plenitude of believers in the church, I had the chance to overhear His Eminence’s kind words and blessings upon the people and was moved by the exchange of well wishes from many in the church, His Eminence displayed a great amount of tenderness and paternal attention to all but most especially to the little children who curiously approached him from all sides.
The delegation was then hosted at a large hall a few blocks away where we were treated to wonderful entertainment of Greek Folk dancing by the dozens of children and hundreds of proud families and onlookers, it was like we were at home at one of our local festivals and cultural gatherings celebrating the festal day of the Archangels and St Nectarios. Our hosts were kind with refreshments and a light lunch followed by continual offerings of traditional sweets, bountiful trays of Belgium waffle cookies, Greek butter cookies, karidopeta, kourabedes, tea sandwiches, local treats, wine, soda, water the hosts had an bounty for all in attendance only to be overshadowed by the happiness, pride and endless enthusiasm for our commaon faith and culture. I know I speak for everyone when I say Thank you!
Next we drove to our Hotel at the center of Brussels, the Conrad. Where we find Presbytera Xanthi Karloutsos intensely at work; organizing a welcome for all participants and speakers the sign in was an ease for all and the organization was flawless. We received a blue tote bag with the insignia of His All Holiness and in the bag we find a padfolio with the conference logo, a USB with Religious Freedom information, an Archon pen, an itinerary booklet a biography booklet with the stellar line up of speakers for the conference, the speakers also received the new books of His All Holiness and a few other surprises.
After retiring to our rooms we received a welcome gift from the hotel a box of Godiva chocolates and French Vittel water in glass bottles (yes I have eaten the chocolate and drank the water already). After I indulged in the Chocó-fest I went for a stroll out in the cool Belgium weather, as it is Sunday all is closed but the stroll was nice. Back at the hotel there was free distribution of a special Newspaper edition of the National Paper. A New Europe Special 36 page edition Religious Freedom, Building a bridge through dialogue. A excellent expose featuring the stellar speakers at the conference including Archbishop Demetrios, Egeman Bagis, Wildfred Martens, Jay Sekalow and many others. Also included is a history of the patriarchate and an introduction on the patriarch. Search it out: New Europe Special Edition November 2010 (though I am sure the Archon website www.Archons.org will have a link).
All in all I have to say this has been an excellent beginning to what I anticipate to be and exciting and most historically significant week here in Brussels at the European Union. I ask you keep the entire delegation, participants at this conference and always His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarchate in your prayers. Until tomorrow…
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
There is guarded optimism following Turkey's decision to comply with the ruling of the European Court. This decision to return the Orphanage which is located on the Island of the Princes to the Phanar comes on the heels of the Archons Religious Freedom Conference held in Brussles before the European Court. The public and official acknowledgment of the legitimate status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In addition to returning the ceased Orphanage the land be registered to the “Rum Patrikanesi” which obviously and officially recognizes for the first time itsde facto legal status .
Now we look ahead for additional restitution of Patriarchal properties and all requests relating to other religious buildings and monasteries seized by the state.
for more visit: http://www.archons.org/
Forum 18 News Service reports on 'Turkey: Syrian Orthodox land - All people are equal, but some are less equal than others?'
Turkey's Mor Gabriel Syrian Orthodox Monastery in the Midyat (Tur Abdin) district faces five separate lawsuits contesting its right to its own property. Some of these cases are being brought by the government, and the state's actions suggest it wishes that the Monastery no longer existed.
79 Christian Graves desecrated in Imvros; Turkish Foreign Ministry quick to "strongly condemn"
On October 28, 2010, seventy-eight (78) Christian graves were brutally desecrated in the graveyard of Panagia (Merkez or Imroz), the capital of the island of Imvros (Gokceada), in Turkey. Imvros is home to approximately 200 Greek Orthodox Christians and the birthplace of both His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the late Archbishop Iakovos of America.
"The minority foundations in Turkey and their role as cultural bridges," by Laki Vingas
Somewhat untidily subsumed within the walls of the churches of Saint Dimitrios, patron saint of Thessaloniki, and of St George in the same city, are the remains of Jewish funeral monuments, Roman marbles, and Byzantine inscriptions. The Sinopi prison, on the Black Sea, is partially built with blocks of stone cut in the Roman era. It has been said that the magnificent mosque of Suleyman the Lawgiver, which stands imposingly over the Golden Horn, used stones taken from the church of Saint Effimia in Kadikoy.
Monday, November 8, 2010
The Publican and The Pharasee
June 22, 2010 by elgreca262
Candles flicker void of glowing rays;
rather weaving shadows dark child.
Cloaked in sleep’s dark desire
lamenting orchestras wail her requiem.
In a vacuum of fury, the fiery wick consumes.
Its honorable calling, discarded and forsaken.
The cassock an ironic display,
for a collapsar of lost souls.
A fool hearted jester parading in costume,
posturing as a peacock of transfiguration.
Assurances plundered by vessels of light
the flock scattered; sacked by the vested.
Cloaked and on the prowl they devour,
driven by their ravenousness appetites.
Depleting her hope for abatement or reprieve
this subversive elect erode good-faith.
The brotherhood, now an order of squalor;
dishonored by the whimsical cruelty it ignores.
Her prayer-rope, like millstones, plunge her to the abyss
the daunting purgatory of regret, feeds self-abasement.
Scandal mocks idealism and scourges trust.
Forsaken and abandon, self-reproach strangles.
Compunction and self‑reproach are daily companions
as the torments of this spiritual catastrophe festers.
Within the refracted enlightenment of suffering,
she who is sorrowful, prays;
returning again to the altar,
at the very feet of the priest who offers the Chalice.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
All this while Ephremites are attacked for their traditional stances. Wrongly compared with Evangelicals heterodox rather then as being the keepers of the traditions. The Reformed Jew doesn't believe that the Orthodox Jew is polluting the Jewish faith but rather they are the keepers of Judaism. Those who keep the faith and practice it in their lives can't rationally be perceived as a destructive force. It is only through infidelity or disregard that one is destructive. It is when those like Met. Phillip assert that the tradition limits his own reign. His is blinded by his own pride and fails to realize that his legitimacy comes only from the Church and her Canons and Dogma. Only in the Orthodox Christian faith do reckless individuals assault the devout to excuse their own infidelity.
Too many attend church for Christmas and Pascha too many which to dispense with confession, fasting and moral living. Christian living is difficult; actually apart Christ, impossible. The problem doesn't rest with the Church protocol; it resides within the dismissal of what is sacred, holy and understood as uniquely Orthodox. We are fighting an adversary who has been before the the fall and he wishes nothing less then for us to forsake the light unto our path.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Pending a full investigation and comprehensive report the Ecumenical Patriarchate has remanded Metropolitan Paisios and Bishop Vikentios to Greece. Apparently the two hierarchs didn't see this coming. Metropolitan Paisios showed up at the Phanar with his billionaire brother perhaps in some fained attempt to sway the Synod's recommendations. Bishop Vikentios was not able to distance himself from the scandal as he had wished when initially reporting to the press his concern. Likewise, red herrings about fiscal improprieties where not front and center which has proven to be more manageable for this demonic duo.
Rather the focus of inquiry, the more grotesque allegations of what amounts to human sex trafficking of financially disadvantaged youth, from the congregation, some of whom reportedly 'joined' the monastery as minors and remained sequestered within the walls. I have hesitated to report speculation which has circulated but currently the reporting is vast and the investigation by the feds and local law enforcement indicates just cause. That being said this stinks to high heaven.
It appears that Met. Paisios wishes to retire in Greece to avoid federal indictment and incarceration. While Bishop Vikentios wishes to remove himself entirely from the abuse. Apparently the Monastery of Saint Irene has been converted into a feeder system for the sexual exploitation of boys and girls. (Perhaps the weeping icon as been grieving for the victims at her monastery and not the far off Gulf War). These allegations are being reported by press nationally and internationally. According to reports there are affidavits and witnesses and victims who are talking to the NY police and the FBI.
His All-Holiness is leaving no stone unturned and is sending a top notch investigative team to assess the scope of this alleged abuse. As already mentioned the Ecumenical Throne has forbidden the two hierarchs to return to the United States to limit tampering and intimidation of witness and victims. My prayer goes out to all the victims and their families. I understand that the Church in her wisdom has protocol with addressing such cruelty. I also hope that independent of such corrective measures that the federal investigation move ahead and that all who are liable are held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
On the commemoration of Archbishop Stakis the first Archbishop of Constantinople and on the Annivsersary of the elevation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, by the hand of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Iconographer Elias Damianakis was vested. He will from this time into eternity be Hagiographos, the esteemed Honorable Archon Maestor of the Holy and Great Church of Christ, "Defender of the Faith" and Archon of the Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate.