What does ecumenical mean? What does ecumenism mean? Is the Fener Greek Patriarchate ecumenical?

Fener Greek Patriarchatefrom time to time”ecumenicalHis use of the term ” brought up the discussion of ecumenism again.


The word of French origin means universal union.


The concept of ecumenical came to the fore in Turkey for the first time in 1517, when Yavuz Selim, when he conquered Egypt, connected the Alexandria and Antakya Patriarchates to the Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul and declared the patriarch ‘Ecumenical’ (‘Cihan patriarch’). . As of today, the use of the title of “Archbishop and Universal Patriarch of New Rome and Istanbul” by the Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew in his foreign relations causes controversy.

IS THE FENER Greek Patriarchate ECUMENIC?

Our newspaper’s writer and Eastern Europe Expert Deniz Berktay describes the “ecumenical” debate with the Fener Greek Patriarchate as follows:

“Even though the Fener Patriarchate says it is a “brother”, it does not have absolute authority in the Orthodox world. The Vatican does not have the same powers as in the Catholic world. In the Orthodox world, there are 14 (or 15) independent (autocephalous) churches. He is accepted as the first among the people.” Although others call Fener his “brother”, none of them accept Fener’s true leadership. Those who are trying to make Fener the real leader of the Orthodox world are non-Orthodox US administrators.

USA Since the 1940s, Orthodox peoples in Eastern Europe and the Balkans have been using the Fener Patriarchate to influence them. In order to better implement this policy, he wants him to be recognized as a leader by other Orthodox. This is why it puts pressure on Turkey to “know Fener as ecumenical”. The meaning of the word ecumenical, which means “universal”, is that Fener is recognized as the leader of all Orthodox. Turkey, on the other hand, accepts the Fener Patriarchate as the religious institution of the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey, within the framework of the Treaty of Lausanne, and does not want Fener to gain Vatican-like powers.

The Moscow Patriarchate, which is the focus of Fener’s most conflicts in the Orthodox world, said, “We respect Fener, but we have the largest Orthodox community in the world. We have helped Fener for hundreds of years. Fener should not be a big brother to us.” Three years ago, Fener declared that Ukraine had entered its domain. This resulted in the rupture of relations with Moscow. No one supported Fener’s decision in the Orthodox world. However, Russia shows its stance towards Fener more harshly. According to Russia, this is part of the US strategy to contain Russia. Biden advocates a more effective policy on Fener than the Trump administration. One of the first to congratulate Biden when he was elected was the Fener Patriarch.

Heybeliada Seminary, beyond raising Orthodox priests, is a step that will reinforce Fener’s claim to ecumenism. In this school, the Turkish authorities will not be able to adequately control Fener. Candidates from other Orthodox countries will study here. This will strengthen the claim of ecumenism. Otherwise, there are plenty of schools to train priests in the world.

If Fener is officially recognized as ecumenical, the requirement for the patriarch and other priests to be Turkish citizens is removed. This would mean the formation of a state within a state in Turkey, which Turkey cannot control and which interferes with the politics of the surrounding Orthodox countries. “


In a written statement from the Fatih District Governor’s Office, it was stated that there was a need for an explanation due to the fact that Fener Greek Patriarchate Patriarch Dimitri Bartholomew and the Patriarchate sometimes use the concept of “ecumenical”.

In the statement, there was no provision regarding the status and status of the Patriarchate in the Agreement on the Exchange of Turkish and Greek Populations signed between Greece and Turkey on January 30, 1923. and it was reminded that the Greeks in Bozcaada and Gökçeada and the Muslim Turks in Western Thrace were excluded from the exchange.

In the statement, it was stated that the Treaty of Lausanne, which was signed on July 24, 1923, which constitutes Turkey’s main legal basis regarding minorities, did not include a provision regarding the Patriarchate. It was stated that the statements of the delegations of the participating countries that there would be no activity in the country were accepted as a deed, and the jurisdiction of the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the spiritual council was limited to meeting the religious needs of the Istanbul Archdiocese and the Greek community of the Bozcada and Gökçeada region. statements were included.

38-44 of the Treaty of Lausanne, titled the protection of minorities. It was noted that the status of non-Muslim Turkish citizens was determined in the articles, and the following information was given:

“Accordingly, it has been promised that necessary facilities will be provided for our citizens who have been taken under the status of minority to worship and educate in their own language with religious freedom, and to protect their places of worship and cemeteries. In short, the Patriarchate, whose situation became clear after long discussions during the negotiations of the Treaty of Lausanne, has been transformed into a new status with the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. In this context, the Patriarchate is a church with only religious powers as a church of the Greek minority in Turkey. It is a religious institution that should be considered within the framework of the Treaty titled ‘Protection of Minorities.’ Contrary to the practice of Greece, the Patriarchate has an ‘ecumenical’ political-administrative character, although there is the freedom to choose the religious officials themselves in Turkey. is not used.

As a matter of fact, as a result of the intervention of other non-Greek Orthodox churches to the judiciary, the 4th Chamber of the Court of Cassation, in its decision numbered E:2005/10694, K.2007/5603: ‘A sovereign state grants certain privileges that it does not even recognize to the majority, by applying a law different from its own citizens to minorities living in its territory. granting them a special status by granting them a special status cannot be accepted as it would clearly contradict the principle of equality set forth in Article 10 of the Constitution. Therefore, the claim that the Patriarchate is ecumenical has no legal basis. As it can be understood from the letter of the Governorship of Istanbul dated 6 December 1923 and numbered 1092, the persons to be elected and to participate in the religious and spiritual elections in the Patriarchate must be Turkish citizens and be employed in Turkey during the election. This is a clear indication that the Patriarchate does not have an ecumenical title.’ is highlighted. As a result; The “ecumenical” claim of the Fener Greek Patriarchate, which is accepted as a religious organization affiliated to the Fatih District Governorship in the Lausanne Treaty minutes and judicial decisions, is incompatible with legal facts.

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