Obama and the Patriarch
A short item from the blog of Yves Daoudal on the topic of Turkish tolerance, dated April 6:
In the first version of the official schedule of Barack Obama's trip to Turkey, there was a visit with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, at his residence in Phanar, in the suburbs of Istanbul.
On March 29 this visit was eliminated.
Instead, Barack Obama will meet the Ecumenical Patriarch at the same time as other religious leaders, who will have to go to his hotel.
Such are the desires of the Turkish government, to which the American president submits.
But is the Ecumenical Patriarch perhaps closer than one might think to Barack Obama's point of view?
This report was issued by Worldwide Faith News:
MEETING OF ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW WITH PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
NEW YORK - His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had a private meeting today with President Barack Obama. The meeting took place at the Conrad Hotel in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) at approximately 9:45 in the morning. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and the White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, were present at the meeting.
The meeting and ensuing discussion were marked by a spirit of warm cordiality and mutual respect. The substance of the discussions included President Obama's mention of the issue of the Theological School of Halki in his speech before the Turkish Parliament, and his further discussion of the same with the President of the Turkish Republic, Abdullah Gul. The President said that he would follow up on the issue with a view to a favorable solution for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made reference to the following points:
- He made a convincing and passionate argument for the speedy re-opening of the Theological School of Halki, a basic need for the education and preparation of Clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- He emphasized the importance of religious liberty and the guarantee of same for all minorities of Turkey.
- He stated his well-known and long time support for the efforts of Turkey to join the European Union.
- He noted the significance of efforts made on behalf of the environment, adding information on his own upcoming Ecological Symposium in the U.S.A. (Mississippi River) in October of 2009. (...)
He also congratulated the President for the championship victory of the University of North Carolina's Basketball Team, which the President had chosen to win.
It seems that the few Christians living in Turkey want to be part of Europe. Understandable. Then they should move to Europe.