Pope Francis: I seek communion with Orthodox Churches

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Source: Vatican Radio (Vatican Radio)  In an address upon conclusion of the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Orthodox Church of St. George in Istanbul, Pope Francis said “the one thing that the Catholic Church desires and that I seek as Bishop of Rome…is communion with the Orthodox Churches.” Below, please find the complete text of the Holy Father’s address: When I was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, I often took part in the celebration of the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Turkish church

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The Pope preaches a sermon on Unity through the Holy Spirit. Source: Journal of Turkish Weekly   Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of the globe’s estimated one billion Catholics, has celebrated a special Mass in Istanbul on the second day of his official visit to Turkey. Security was tight at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in the city’s Beyoglu district, ahead of the visit by the 77-year-old Argentinian pontiff, who was greeted by a small crowd of well-wishers before … [Read more...]

Islam, ecumenism and regional conflict on Pope’s agenda in Turkey

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Source: The Catholic Register BY  FRANCIS X. ROCCA VATICAN CITY - Almost every papal trip abroad is a complex mix of the religious and political, and that will be especially true of Pope Francis' Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey. Given the country's crucial geographic position straddling Europe and Asia, its historic importance for both Christianity and Islam and the wars now raging in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, Pope Francis will have to address a variety of urgent topics during his … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Trip to Turkey

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Source: PBS TRANSCRIPT BELOW KIM LAWTON, correspondent: At the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangels in Istanbul, Sunday morning worship unfolds as it has for centuries. Christians here say the ancient liturgy and the images that fill the sanctuary help connect them to the roots of their faith. Several books of the New Testament were written in what is now Turkey, and many foundational Christian doctrines were established here. FATHER VISSARION KOMZIAS (St. George Patriarchal … [Read more...]

Pope’s visit to Turkey is a chance to bridge ancient divide

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Source: Al-Monitor by Susanne Güsten As Ankara prepares to receive Pope Francis on Nov. 28-30, Turkish media have noted with raised eyebrows that Turkish affairs do not appear to be uppermost on the pope’s mind. “It was conspicuous that the pope chose to speak of the ‘Ecumenical Patriarchate’ and ‘Constantinople’ rather than of Turkey,” when referring to the destination of his upcoming visit, the daily Milliyet pointed out huffily. It is a Turkish delusion of grandeur to believe that the … [Read more...]

Fundamentally Flawed

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by John Kaloudis I was dismayed to read the following in the recent issue of the Orthodox Observer: “Biden touched on three subjects that are at the core of the issues of greatest concern to Greek Orthodox Christians; the relationship between the United States and Greece, religious freedom, especially for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Christians in Turkey and the Cyprus question.” If these are the core issues of the GOA, the GOA has abandoned the core principles as prescribed by Jesus in … [Read more...]

Future of Greek minority in Turkey in the hands of the youth

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Source: Today's Zaman The youth of Turkey's Greek minority are facing critical demographic and educational problems which are complicating their ability to maintain their historical tradition in Turkey. Aug. 22 was the last day of the second biannual Greek reunion on the island of Burgazada. Turks and Greeks were reunited accompanied by the tune of Greek and Turkish songs in a celebration of their friendship that dates back many years. “In Burgazada, we're all one family,” said Vasilis, a … [Read more...]

ORTHODOX PATRIARCH HAILS CHANGING TURKEY IN MASS

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Source: Daily Sabah NEVŞEHİR – Presiding at a Sunday mass at a church in central Turkey, Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I said major changes in Turkey in terms of minority rights have paved the way for "previously unimaginable" religious services in the ancient churches of the Orthodox Christian community. The annual mass attended by an Orthodox Christian community was held in Timio Stavru, a Byzantine-era church in a village in the central Turkish province of Nevşehir's Ürgüp … [Read more...]

Statement on 2014 U.S. Commission’s Report on International Religious Freedom – Report Designates Turkey to a “Tier Two” Country

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Source: American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association WASHINGTON, DC -  Anthony Kouzounis, supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest and oldest membership-based association for the nation's millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, issued the following statement on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom's release of its 2014 Annual Report on April 30: "The return of Turkey's … [Read more...]

Shut down Orthodox seminary in Turkey kept in pristine condition in the hope of a reopening

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Source: The Gazette (Montreal) ISTANBUL March 5, 2014 (AP) By AYSE WIETING Associated Press ISTANBUL - Although shut down for more than four decades, one of the Orthodox Church's most pre-eminent seminaries is kept in pristine condition in the hope that it may reopen one day to educate future patriarchs and clergy. The Theological School of Halki, perched atop a hill on Heybeli Island off Istanbul's coast, closed its doors in 1971 under a Turkish law that required private higher … [Read more...]