Turkish Court rejects Orthodox Patriarch's ecumenical claim

A Turkish Tuesday backed Turkey's long-held position that the Istanbul-based Orthodox Patriarch is only the head of the city's tiny Greek Orthodox community and not the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians.

Turkish Court rejects Orthodox Patriarch's ecumenical claim
A Turkish court Tuesday backed Turkey's long-held position that the Istanbul-based Orthodox Patriarch is only the head of the city's tiny Greek Orthodox community and not the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians.

The court said Turkey could not give "special status" to any minority group. The ruling came as part of an appeals proceeding that upheld Bartholomew's acquittal in a dispute with a Bulgarian priest.

"The Patriarchate, which was allowed to remain on Turkish soil, is subject to Turkish laws," the appeals court ruled. "There is no legal basis for the claims that the Patriarchate is ecumenical."

The Patriarchate's spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Greece's reaction

In Athens, the Greek Foreign Ministry said the court decision would not change the Christians' perception of the Patriarch.

"The ecumenical dimension of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is based on international treaties, the sacred regulations of Orthodoxy, on history and Church tradition," ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said.


Last Mod: 26 Haziran 2007, 22:07
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