Tuesday, October 18, 2005

While we're off topic

A mass rally took place on October 14 in Kiev in protest against the opening of church representations of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine and Fanar’s interference in the Ukrainian church affairs. Thousands-strong rallies were held at the Turkish embassy, as well as the Supreme Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Presidential Administration. Special appeals were adopted, addressed to the Ukrainian president and the Turkish and Greek ambassadors.

Why to Victor Yushchenko is clear enough. The government has promoted the project for opening the Constantinopolitan church representations and interfered in church affairs, pressing for the absorption of the unrecognized UAOC group by the uncanonical ‘Kievan Patriarchate’, and all this despite the president’ promises that the government will not interfere in church affairs.

Read the complete article Orthodox Ukraine appeals to wisdom of Turkish authorities from Interfax Religion.

Daniil Spassky once again reiterates his pro-Russian position in the piece. His main point is that the Ukrainians and everyone else should put pressure on the Turkish government through boycotting Turkish resorts and other things Turkish so that the government will crack down on the Patriarch of Constantinople and halt the Church of Constantinople's 'interference' in Ukrainian affairs.

(I wonder if Mr. Spassky is cognizant of the fact that if Turkey starts limiting the freedom of the patriarch in church affairs that it would be putting its EU admission at risk...)

The final paragraph:

Accordingly, the question is whether the Turkish government will have enough resolution, will and resources to influence Patriarch Bartholomew. Indeed, there is already some talk that he dreams of establishing a kind of Orthodox Vatican in Fanar and obtaining the exterritorial right from the Turkish authorities. But still, the potential appeal to boycott Turkish resorts and goods appears quite telling for the Turkish interests. With an effective informational support this action may inflict millions-worth damages on the economy of this country. Thus, theoretically Turkey may become directly interested in putting her citizen in his right place as a one who causes damage to her relations with the countries which make up the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The bolding is my own, of course. If the Patriarch of Constantinople were to receive some kind of extraterritorial status in Fanar, that would certainly change the dynamic under which the patriarchate operates, since as it stands, you have to be a Turkish citizen to be chosen to the office.

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