Sunday, September 9, 2018

Turnabout is fair play?

(Interfax) - Establishment of Russian church dioceses in Turkey could become a response to Patriarch Bartholomew - religious expert

*** Constantinople “plays a dangerous game” as it has its own schism

Symmetric response of Russian Orthodox Church to actions of Constantinople in Ukraine could become establishment of the Moscow Patriarchate’s dioceses in Turkey, a famous religious expert, professor Roman Sylantyev believes.

“Evident response decision is to set up dioceses in Turkey, where there are minimum ten times as many members of the Russian Orthodox Church even if we count only those who permanently live in the country. And if we take into account five million of our tourists who come to Turkey every year, it is absolutely different arithmetic calculations,” Silantyev told Interfax-Religion.

He stressed that many Orthodox believers who come to Turkey usually look for a church where they can pray.

“On Cyprus many churches really hold services in Russian, though there are no so many our tourists in the country, but if we open such churches in Turkey, in Istanbul, on resorts there will be crowds of pilgrims,” Silantyev said.

According to him, the Moscow Patriarchate could display interest to the Turkish Orthodox Church, which is small, but officially recognized in Turkey, “and the Russian Church could recognize it an heir of the Constantinople Patriarchate of the time of the Byzantium Empire.”

“The Constantinople Church has its own schism and nothing prevents us from using this schism as they use ours. Certainly, such suggestions are bold, but they can be discussed in such discourse which we see today”, Silantyev said.

According to Silantyev, Constantinople “plays a dangerous game, abysses of schism can open not only from our side, but also from the side of the Constantinople Church.”

It was reported that a day earlier the Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed two exarchs in Kiev as part of preparations to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Such was Constantinople's response to the request by President Petro Poroshenko to issue a tomos for the creation of the united local Church in Ukraine.


  1. I think the MP getting involved with the Turkish Orthodox Church, which doesn't have valid episcopal consecrations and has married patriarchs (or at least has historically) is very implausible, unless they were able to somehow just appropriate its legal identity as a means of starting MP parishes. Probably not their first move by any means, though.

  2. Likewise the Filaretians have no apostolic succession. Actually this is a great idea it may even wake up the EP from its malaise in a century from now as Russian missionaries are better than Greek and can push back from Turkish discrimination. By the time the schism is healed there may actually be 100,000 Orthodox in Turkey with actual parishes.

  3. How does the EP think he has authority over a church which isnt even in communion with him?

  4. Hmmmmm. If it's a real church, maybe Moscow would suggest the name "Orthodox Church in Turkey" (OCT) and announce it is autocephalous. Of course then they would ignore it, put patriarchal parishes there and ROCOR would arrive. Sound familiar? The phahar folk are notably unresponsive to anything, try putting a thumbtack on the EP's chair.