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The Patriarch Bartholomew interview

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DRAKON View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Dec 2009 at 22:44
If this is not in the right section please move it mods.

Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians, feels "crucified" living in Turkey under a government he says would like to see his Patriarchate die out. Bob Simon reports.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6001717n


Interesting interview, but I would have liked to have seen more about this.




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drgonzaga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2009 at 23:09
The feelings of Patriarch Bartholomew in this regard are nothing new. He has uttered them for the past 5 years and are actually intricately involved with Turkey's desire to join the EU.
 
 
In a sense, the patriarchate is a victim of secular Turkish politics, whose policies are actually designed to control Islamic institutions. The fate of the seminary highlighted in the CBS interview is an old one dating back to 1971 and the Turkish Education Law barring control of post-secondary schools by religious organizations. Technically, the patriarch could have a seminary for Turkish Christians at Mt. Athos, which monastic complex also falls under his adminsitrative jurisdiction--albeit the Greek government has its own problems with that locale. The real problem stems from the fact that of Turkey's 73 million inhabitants, there are only some 120,000 Christians (not all Orthodox) and even fewer Jews (26,000). Not that the MSM even bothers to take note of recurring problems, and one has to dig deep to receive information on incidents--which often involve pecuniary instances:
 
 
It is a far from pleasant picture if one is also familiar with the fate of Catholic Christians in places such as Sinope...
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 21 Dec 2009 at 23:15
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 03:28
Yeah, the situation for the patriarch, and the Orthodox Christians under him, in Turkey is sad. I'm glad to see that the faithful in that region are committed to staying in the area.
 
We sometimes like to think that the persecutions the Christians in the East had to face under the Porte are the stuff of long-forgotten history, contained in dusty books. Oh how that is not the case.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 07:21
Hello Arch
 
I think you should read what the Doc said, Turkey is a militantly secular country, if the patriach was a 2nd class citizen (and actually he is not, there are so many things he is exempted from he is actually a superclass citizen), I would be a 4th class one since I adhere to the so called "wahhabi" brand of Islam (3rd class is reserved to the ordinary religious muslims who make 40% of the population). A woman who wares hijab can't go to school, university, have access to medicine in public hospitals, run for office, enter a public building etc. A woman who publically wares a cross can do all that.
 
The patriach is still dreaming of the good old days when christendom ruled the place and wants them back.
 
As for percecution during Ottoman times, well I suggest you read the history of the church and its constant subversion (especially in the war for greek independence) and then compare what the Ottomans did to them and what the Brits did to the muslims and hindus after the Sepoy revolt and only then you will understand what percecution in the 19th century really meant.
 
Al-Jassas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arch.buff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 17:10
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello Arch
 
I think you should read what the Doc said, Turkey is a militantly secular country, if the patriach was a 2nd class citizen (and actually he is not, there are so many things he is exempted from he is actually a superclass citizen), I would be a 4th class one since I adhere to the so called "wahhabi" brand of Islam (3rd class is reserved to the ordinary religious muslims who make 40% of the population). A woman who wares hijab can't go to school, university, have access to medicine in public hospitals, run for office, enter a public building etc. A woman who publically wares a cross can do all that.
 
The patriach is still dreaming of the good old days when christendom ruled the place and wants them back.
 
As for percecution during Ottoman times, well I suggest you read the history of the church and its constant subversion (especially in the war for greek independence) and then compare what the Ottomans did to them and what the Brits did to the muslims and hindus after the Sepoy revolt and only then you will understand what percecution in the 19th century really meant.
 
Al-Jassas
 
Hello Al-Jassas,
 
As far as the situation about "2nd class," "3rd class," and "4th class" citizenship in Turkey, I am admittedly naive. I was aware that Christians were second-class citizens; I wasn't aware that Muslims -- such as yourself -- were considered, as you say, "4th class" citizens. Is this your own peculiar take on the matter, or can you point me to some references?
 
In any case, it's still not right. I understand that the history of the region is complex; a region that has seen many peoples and religions persecuted, not just one single peoples or faith. I wasn't asserting that. The fact of the matter is the Porte appointed patriarchs to Constantinople's thrown at will, and disposed (in most cases executed) of them at will too. The Ottomans weren't dumb, they realized a united Christendom would not be a good thing for their continuance, so they took up appropriate measures to do everything on their part to make sure that didn't happen. Really, the list goes on and on. But, as you say, there were other persecutions that have taken place throught the course of history; you cite the 19th century, you could have cited others. If you really wanted to defend the Ottomans and make clear certain persecution Muslims have faced, which I take to really be your main point, then you could have cited other bloody events of history. But, I wouldn't argue with you on this. Every religion and peoples have both faced and handed out persecutions. At the end of the day, we're all humans who are at times greedy, lustful, jealous, prideful, and the list could go on and on. 
 
I would say I disagree with you about what the patriarch is really "dreaming of." I don't think, as you say, that the patriarch is merely dreaming up fancy illusions of a time when Constantine's heirs walked the streets of New Rome; rather, more realistically, what I think he desires is the opening of a place where Orthodox priests can be trained, and, most importantly, the respect and dignity that a human person -- no matter their faith -- deserves.
 
-arch.buff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 20:49
Originally posted by arch.buff arch.buff wrote:

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello Arch
 
I think you should read what the Doc said, Turkey is a militantly secular country, if the patriach was a 2nd class citizen (and actually he is not, there are so many things he is exempted from he is actually a superclass citizen), I would be a 4th class one since I adhere to the so called "wahhabi" brand of Islam (3rd class is reserved to the ordinary religious muslims who make 40% of the population). A woman who wares hijab can't go to school, university, have access to medicine in public hospitals, run for office, enter a public building etc. A woman who publically wares a cross can do all that.
 
The patriach is still dreaming of the good old days when christendom ruled the place and wants them back.
 
As for percecution during Ottoman times, well I suggest you read the history of the church and its constant subversion (especially in the war for greek independence) and then compare what the Ottomans did to them and what the Brits did to the muslims and hindus after the Sepoy revolt and only then you will understand what percecution in the 19th century really meant.
 
Al-Jassas
 
Hello Al-Jassas,
 
As far as the situation about "2nd class," "3rd class," and "4th class" citizenship in Turkey, I am admittedly naive. I was aware that Christians were second-class citizens; I wasn't aware that Muslims -- such as yourself -- were considered, as you say, "4th class" citizens. Is this your own peculiar take on the matter, or can you point me to some references?
 
In any case, it's still not right. I understand that the history of the region is complex; a region that has seen many peoples and religions persecuted, not just one single peoples or faith. I wasn't asserting that. The fact of the matter is the Porte appointed patriarchs to Constantinople's thrown at will, and disposed (in most cases executed) of them at will too. The Ottomans weren't dumb, they realized a united Christendom would not be a good thing for their continuance, so they took up appropriate measures to do everything on their part to make sure that didn't happen. Really, the list goes on and on. But, as you say, there were other persecutions that have taken place throught the course of history; you cite the 19th century, you could have cited others. If you really wanted to defend the Ottomans and make clear certain persecution Muslims have faced, which I take to really be your main point, then you could have cited other bloody events of history. But, I wouldn't argue with you on this. Every religion and peoples have both faced and handed out persecutions. At the end of the day, we're all humans who are at times greedy, lustful, jealous, prideful, and the list could go on and on. 
 
I would say I disagree with you about what the patriarch is really "dreaming of." I don't think, as you say, that the patriarch is merely dreaming up fancy illusions of a time when Constantine's heirs walked the streets of New Rome; rather, more realistically, what I think he desires is the opening of a place where Orthodox priests can be trained, and, most importantly, the respect and dignity that a human person -- no matter their faith -- deserves.
 
-arch.buff

Al Jassas makes a good point... there is a lot inconsistencies in treatment in Turkey, as noted it is a secular country, and government institution wise, a very secular one, which means that religion takes a back seat, not just the Patriarch. 

Although, he does seem to live in the past as well. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2010 at 21:39
Let us deal with Bartholomew honestly, if he bitches abou the Turk he also has sufficient vitriol left over for the Greeks as well and all stemming from the Orthodox notion of autocephaly. He's even gotten embroiled with the Moscow Patriarchate over the fluid conditions in the Ukraine. If there is a bright spot for Patriarch Bartholomew, it is orthodoxy in the Americas, whose various Churches evade the politics of their original regions by appeal to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is a complex topic and one replete with possibilities for a cynical outlook. 
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2010 at 08:35
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

I think you should read what the Doc said, Turkey is a militantly secular country, if the patriach was a 2nd class citizen (and actually he is not, there are so many things he is exempted from he is actually a superclass citizen), I would be a 4th class one since I adhere to the so called "wahhabi" brand of Islam (3rd class is reserved to the ordinary religious muslims who make 40% of the population). A woman who wares hijab can't go to school, university, have access to medicine in public hospitals, run for office, enter a public building etc. A woman who publically wares a cross can do all that.
 
The patriach is still dreaming of the good old days when christendom ruled the place and wants them back.
 
I'm sorry Al Jassas, but that is a misrepresentation, although I've no doubt it was an honest mistake. The patriarch is certainly not a "superclass" citizen, nor is he more priviledged than Muslims in Turkey. You are correct that Turkey is a militantly secular country, but you forget that in addition to being Christian, Bartholomew also has the misfortune of being Greek -- a cardinal sin in the eyes of the Turkish government and a majority, though a dwindling on, of the Turkish people. It is hard to be a "superclass" citizen when you have no official legal standing, your property is constantly being confiscated, and your only means of training priests locally (Halki) has had her doors shut on government orders since 1971 (although, on this point, Muslims are similarly impacted). I don't doubt -- actually, I know for a fact -- that Muslims in Turkey go through many hardships, but there is simply no comparison to what the Patriarch and the small Greek community go through.
 
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

As for percecution during Ottoman times, well I suggest you read the history of the church and its constant subversion (especially in the war for greek independence) and then compare what the Ottomans did to them and what the Brits did to the muslims and hindus after the Sepoy revolt and only then you will understand what percecution in the 19th century really meant.
 
The Ottomans were actually quite like the Romans: persecutorial and tolerant by turns. And you are correct that until the middle of the Early-Modern Age, this passed for more tolerant than most European countries.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Let us deal with Bartholomew honestly, if he bitches abou the Turk he also has sufficient vitriol left over for the Greeks as well and all stemming from the Orthodox notion of autocephaly. He's even gotten embroiled with the Moscow Patriarchate over the fluid conditions in the Ukraine. If there is a bright spot for Patriarch Bartholomew, it is orthodoxy in the Americas, whose various Churches evade the politics of their original regions by appeal to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It is a complex topic and one replete with possibilities for a cynical outlook. 
 
Aye. And that is part of the problem with the Church here in America. To a large extent, the Ecumenical Patriarchate depends on it for its financial and political survival. However this means that the Ecumenical Patriarchs have a vested interest in ensuring that an autocephalous American Church does not develop, and that the jurisdictions stay institutionally divided, even as they are united in one Church. Consequently, the Greek Archdiocese is a bit of an impediment -- albeit subconsciously and with entirely good intent -- to union, which isn't helped by the fact that she is also the largest Archdiocese. Leaves room for cynicism indeed. Far from unprecedented in the history of the Church though, eh? (both the situation and the cynicism) LOL
 
-Akolouthos
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