The Macedonian Tendency: Bulgarians and Greeks Duke it Out in Istanbul (not Constantinople)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bulgarians and Greeks Duke it Out in Istanbul (not Constantinople)

Turkish court rejects ecumenical status of Istanbul-based Orthodox Patriarchate -
International Herald Tribune

The charges against Bartholomew and 12 senior clerics were first filed in 2002, by the head of a Bulgarian Church Foundation, who argued that Bartholomew had no authority to dismiss Kostantin Kostov, the Bulgarian priest.

The Bulgarian foundation had claimed the priest was punished after he refused to refer to Bartholomew in prayers and refused to conduct religious services and issue baptism and marriage documents in Greek.

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.

'But, above all, recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarch as a spiritual leader is — and has been for centuries — deeply rooted in the conscience of hundreds of millions of Christians, Orthodox or not, worldwide.'

Bartholomew went about his business Tuesday regardless of the ruling, meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko for talks that included the state of Orthodox churches in Ukraine.

Yushchenko was in Istanbul to attend a regional leaders' meeting. Orthodox churches were all und"

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