Talk:Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

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Turkish Translation[edit]

Somebody named Tekleni is constantly changing the Turkish translation. I don't myself belong to any religion, but I guess I know Turkish and English sufficiently enough to tell that there's nothing called "" (Konstantinopolis in a Turkish document in 2006 - yeah sure! - )

I removed the turkish translation as Ecumanical Patriarch since they don't recognize the ecumenical status and removed the greek translation as Fener Patriarch since they don't accept it. Make your statement on the subject here before making further edits on the titles. 18:45, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

no not Konstantinopolis Evrensel Patrigi turkısh language :istanbul patrikhanesi

This entire article is exceptionally biased and full of serious factual errors. Having studied both Catholicism and Orthodoxy, I know that most of what's cited in here is from very biased sources (like the Catholic Encyclopaedia of 1918). All of these citations need serious scrutiny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcolton (talkcontribs) 00:14, 15 December 2009 (UTC)'s paragraph[edit]

If what you assert is easily verfiable, then provide a link.

Second, who cares what the Turkish government says? They have nothing at all to do with the Patriarch's position within Orthodoxy or his influence worldwide. As far as the other 15 autocephalous Churches are concerned, he's the Ecumenical Patriarch and has been for 1000 years. The only thing required of the Turk is that he allow sufficient religious freedom required for the Patriarchate to acutally exist, which he does if only barely. If what you say is true, then no other standard reference on Orthodoxy -- and I've tried to look this up in several -- sees fit to mention it. Csernica

This is true. The title of "Ecumenical" was bestowed on the Patriarchate of Constantinople by the Church, long before the Turkish occupation of Constantinople. What the current Turkish government thinks has nothing to do with the Patriarchate's ecumenical status.
A possible compromise paragraph might could be added stating that the Turkish government claims to have the power to deny the Patriarchate's ecumenical status, but this claim is considered of no consequence by the Church. YBeayf 03:27, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

The fact that the secular state of Turkey does or does not recognize the ecclesiastical status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is completely irrelevant to the article. Its inclusion gives the impression that the status of the Patriarch of Constantinople as the senior See of the Orthodox Church is in dispute, which it is not. The canons of the Orthodox Church and the usage give the Ecumenical Throne certain prerogatives as were recently demonstrated by the Pan Orthodox Synod held this summer. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is not the Pope of the East, but he does have a defined place in the polity of the Orthodox Church.--fathermaximos 17:26, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

The fact that the secular state of Turkey does or does not recognize the eccumenical status of the Patriarchate is completely relevant to the article. Church is staying on turkish soil with the permission of the Republic of Turkey according to the Treaty of Lausanne and completely obligated to the Turkish laws. Republic of Turkey doesn't recognize the eccumenical status and forbids the church to use it in any forms. Your point of view doesn't interest me or anybody else but current legal state is the unrecognition of the eccumenical status and this will appear on the article! barfly 21:12, August 2, 2005

Secular laws effect secular matters, not ecclesiastical matters. The State of Turkey has no power to recognize or not recognize something intrinsic to the Orthodox canon law, so if you insist on putting in this irrelavant point, for whatever reason, it must also be pointed out that this has no effect on the ecclesiastical status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and is simply a manifestation of Turkish relgious interference and oppression. Which I will insist is a part of the article if you must go into that matte, furthermore perhaps an article ought be written more clearly spelling out the religous oppression of the Turkish state against the Church. Perhaps you could assist me with such an endeaver?--fathermaximos 18:19, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

You may write any of your hyphotectical oppression thesis anywhere. I don't fucking care about it. What i mention here is the turkish law which any secular or ecclesiastical organization is obligated to obey! See [[1]] for further discussions. barfly 21:26, August 2, 2005

I don't see how it's relevant. The "ecumenical" status of the church isn't a matter of law; it's a matter of whether other Orthodox Churches recognize it as "ecumenical" or not. If you have a link to an English-language page that specifies that Turkey actually objects to the ecumenical status that would be interesting, but everything I can find on the matter in English (including several books on the subject) suggests that Turkey doesn't care about internal Orthodox issues. The term "ecumenical" doesn't have any legal significance; it only has theological significance. I'm dubious of your claim that Turkey forbids the Patriarchate to call itself "ecumenical"; since they do indeed do so, one would expect legal consequences if that were the case, but they appear not to have materialized, since the Patriarch continues to call himself this with no objection from the authorities. --Delirium 18:30, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

I will add, though, that it's interesting and worth a mention if Turkey has voiced objections to this. However I am unable to find any documentation of such a claim, nor news articles (even searching newspaper archives) that indicate there's been a dispute about it at any point. --Delirium 18:33, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

The Church is bound to obey the law in secular matters, but Turkey has no power to compel the Orthodox Church which exists beyond her borders from recognizing the Patriarch of Constantinople has the primate of the Orthodox Church. The oppression is not hypothetical, it is real and is demonstrative of a backward looking mentality, hoy Turkey will with the propedct of joining the European Union cease to interfere in matters which do not concern her at all. No Western European nation would consider such interfernce for a moment as being appropriate. Please don't use obscene language when discussing important matters with another person, it just demonstrates a lack of self control on your part, which does not help make your points--fathermaximos 18:35, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

This summer when the Ecumenical Patriarch held a Pan Orthodox Synod to deal with the matters concerning the Jerusalem Patriarch there were protests outside the Phanar by radicals protesting the Patriarch's ecumenical status, though the state did nothing to interfere directly, and clearly they must have noticed 40 bishops arriving from all over the world!!! So clearly they are not particularly effective or enthusiastic in enforcing this outdated law.--fathermaximos 18:42, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

First Turkey totally cares about any issues (Orthodox, Hindu, Satanists or else) on it's soil. The current Partiac Bartholomew warned several times not to use it as a title. (the last time was during the Irenaios crisis for example.) Also one of the reasons of the former ambassador Eric Edelman being sent to his country back was this ecumenical status disscussions. So this issue is totally disputed and should be declared in the article. [[2]][[3]][[4]] The main frame covering the issues of religious minorities in Turkey is the Treaty of Lausanne which is clearly defining they are totally obligated to the turkish laws in every condition. You may read it in any english translation of the treaty. barfly 21:54, August 2, 2005

Even if the EP were prevented by force by the Turkish government from using the title "Ecumenical Patriarchate", they would still be so, as the Church exists beyond the borders of Turkey. Every other Orthodox church considers the EP to be ecumenical, and the Turkish government has no say in that. The ecumenical status of the EP is not a function of their claiming this title for themselves, but it being bestowed on them by the Church as a whole.
Furthermore, the Ecumenical Patriarchate never signed the Treaty of Lausanne -- that was an agreement between the Greek and Turkish governments. Moreover, the Treaty does not say what you claim it says; if I'm wrong, I invite you to prove it with an (English) citation from the Treaty. The EP has never agreed to cease using the title "ecumenical". The Turkish government may not like that title, but the Church doesn't give a flip what the Turkish government thinks, except inasmuch as they interfere with the Church's religious freedom, which interference must then be opposed.
In any case, the Turkish government itself doesn't even honor the Treaty of Lausanne, being in violation of Article 40, which states "Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities [...] shall have an equal right to establish, manage and control at their own expense, any charitable, religious and social institutions, any schools and other establishments for instruction and education, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their own religion freely therein." How's the reopening of Halki coming along, then? If you want to use a Treaty that's not binding on the EP as a club against the Church, you would be well served to ensure that you're actually following it. YBeayf 19:38, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

The Ecumenical Patriarch will never cease to use his rightful title, and the lists of martyrs are full of examples of Orthodox Patriarchs standing up against oppression. The Treaty of Lausanne has no standing in theological and ecclesiastical matters. The Orthodox Church has withstood efforts by various powers over the many centuries to interfere in her life and has withstood it and will continue to do so. We see the example of the Soviets who did these same type of things with the Church of Russia all to no avail.

To Orthodox Christians the Church is the higher law, we obey the secular powers in matters of taxation,traffic regulations and the like, but as for how we choose to govern ourselves, it is none of their business and you can stack up all the law books and all the treaties and the like and it will have no effect. The Turks state can of course arrest or kill the Patriarch ( as they have done so many times in the past) but it will have zero impact. They may exile him, in which case he will be more free to exercise his rightful place.--fathermaximos 19:14, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

Hehe, come on, who wants to kill your fucking Patriarch? All these words are your fundamentalist POV's and has nothing to do with this ecumanical status discussion. I clarified the current condition according to the law and declared that it will be presented on the article. You may continue to advocate these radical fundamentalist thoughts but it will neither identify, nor solve the issue. Best ;) barfly 22:34, August 2, 2005

Our discussion is obviously over.....--fathermaximos 19:50, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
Your use of profanity and insulting tone are not helping your cause, but simply making it look like you are a hothead with an axe to grind. The Turkish government doesn't think the EP is ecumenical; that has been duly noted on the main article. The Church doesn't care what the Turkish government thinks, and that has also been noted. There doesn't appear to be much more to discuss here. YBeayf 20:01, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Maybe those people who keep throwing bombs at the Patriarchate? Besides, you still have not provided a credible reference for your claim here. (And you'll need to do so in English. This is the English-language edition, and it's not reasonable for you to expect anyone here to understand Turkish.) He's forbidden to use "Ecumenical"? Well, he's not prevented from *acting* ecumenically even when he's doing so uncanonically (as in Ukraine and Estonia.)
By the way, we have a saying in English: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." You really don't want to drag the Treaty of Lausanne into this unless you also want to discuss, say, Turkey's close observance of Articles 20 and 21. Or Section III, for that matter. Indeed, it's arguable that any law attempting to contravene any aspect of Orthodox Christian tradition violates Article 43 of that section. So you really didn't want to bring this up.
Fr. Maximos is not saying anything that tags him as a fundamentalist, just as a believer. You're not comporting yourself in an acceptable manner here. Discourse on Wikipedia is more civilized than you may be accustomed to in other places on the Web, and indecent language is very much the exception. Please keep your remarks on point. You have not, for example, done anything meaningful to refute the issues YBeayf raised.
Even if you what you say is true, and even if you could support with outside citations, my opinion is that it still doesn't belong in such a brief article. If it were more detailed, with a fuller account of the history of the office and its significance, then it might be worth including. But to put it into the article as it now stands is to give it far more prominence than it's worth. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:17, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Do you have some difficulties of understanding what i wrote or just acting to be an obtuse? Cause you are really good at it. This is the third time I'm writing that i don't fucking care about your beliefs, thoughts, worldviews or else. I just clarified the status of the church according to Turkish law which has to be mentioned in the article since it is "Patriarch of Fener" in Turkish soil. (By the way, you may defend any contravention of the treaty by Turkish state anywhere. I don't (fourth) fucking care about it.) barfly 00:10, August 3, 2005

Barfly is right that the "fener" title should be mentioned, but it belongs under a note on Turkey's problem with religious freedom as illustrated by the case of the Ecumenical Patriarch, probably best under a heading here of "Restrictions on Religious Freedom."
Various human rights groups, EU bodies, and US government statements on note relgious freedom problems for the Ecumencial Patriarchate, the name actually being not even on the top of the list.
The Turkish press often refers to the Patriarch as "Ecumenical Patriarch". When I was in Turkey last one of its most famous Television interviewers, Mehmet ali Berant, refererd to him as the Ecumencial Patriarch. Here is a zaman (that is a larger Turkish newspaper) article with the title "Ecumenical Patriarch:
Second reference to "Latin Patriarch" is redundant and in common with a lot of Catholic analysis and history of the Patriarchate that is outside of wiki style and POV conventionsDaveHM 15:27, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand the heated argument above. If the churches all around the world choose to call the Patriarch "ecumenaical", there isn't the slightest thing that the Turkish Government do about it. However, the position of the turkish governments deserves a mention here as it explains why there is the law which requires the patriarch to be a turkish citizen. As a leader of a group of Turkish citizens, this person has to be a turk himself. As a foundational document for R of T, Treaty of Lausanne puts no obligation on Turkey to accomodate the "ecumenical" title. And all the churches in the world may come together but still may not make the slightest dent in this policy and law, which is by the way a secular law ruling over a religious body. So secular law and religious law belonging to different realms is a nice sounding but a hollow statement. On the other hand the estimates for the number of Turkish citizens of Orthodox faith in Turkey is somewhere around 3000 and even this number is going down. So within a couple of generations it is very possible that it may become impossible to find a turkish citizen of adequate credentials to be the patriarch. I believe this not only takes away from the orthodox church but also from the cultural heritage of Turkey. I also fail to understand the insistence on the non-ecumenical clause. Why would that title contradict the interests of Turkey? OK, maybe I should stop before people start dropping f-bombs again. 03:55, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

look, you seem not to kow much about Orthodoxy or the history of the Patriarch. EG What do you mean As a leader of a group of Turkish citizens? That is like saying the Pope is the leader of Catholics in Vatican City. The Ecumenical Patriarch is the direct head of something like 2 million Orthodox in the US alone.
Does it occur to you that you are belittling the oldest living istitution in Turkey with factually incorrect statements? And that it serves as a bridge to a few hundred million persons aroudn the world?
Please cite the text in Lussane forbidding use ofthe term "Ecumenical," or stop this pov additions.
Can you read? Really? It is not my view that the patriarch is just the leader of some greeks living in Turkey. It is the governments position. Hence the citizenship rule. I completely agree with you that it is hard to see why one should insist on this, and I think Turkey has to recognize the ecumenical title as soon as possible. However my citing the government's view is not POV at all! This is a legal issue, at least in Turkey, and the government's position deserves a mention, now that it became an issue in the article. Of course you prefer to make the turkish government look like a bunch of idiots but I don't find that compatible with the wikipedia's mission. And again if you read it carefully, the above comment does not say the Treaty of Lausanne bans the ecumenical title, but says it does not mandate the government to recognize it also and so the government feels it can ban it by passing a law. If you don't like it, neither do I, but go tell it to the government, not to me, and please read before you shout! 06:04, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Well not restricted to Patriarchy but I think I also should mention that it has been the position of the Turkish governments since 1923 that all the issues relating to the minorities in Turkey were settled in the Treaty of Laussanne and Turkey is under no international obligations to provide more rights to its minorities. Ergo, Turkey does not grant any more rights, closes the priest school and makes life hard on its minorities in other ways. Ban on ecumenical title is a part of this. However, as far as the international law is concerned, Turkey's position seems okay. Yet this is neither productive nor acceptable in modern norms and Turkey has suffered because of this policy a lot, if you remember its relation with its Kurdish minority. On the other hand accusing Turkey of enforcing a capricious rule is not fair. It is much more than that and goes into the heart of its relation with its minorities, and in all fairness one should mention this bigger picture if one wants to mention how the patriarch is opressed in Turkey. Well of course you and your friends do not like to hear or discuss this and prefer to delete my edits, shout nationalist!!! and ban me from editing, but at least here people can read who is being unreasonable and nationalist.

Nationalist? I am not even Orthodox! The article relied on information and persepective from respected NGO's, US state Department findings religious freedom groups. It did mention already Ankara's difficulties withthe Ecumenical Patriarch's title
You are also ascribing to me charges I have called Turkey's decsion "capricious", which I have not, of accusing the me of prefering "to make the turkish government look like a bunch of idiots," which I have not, etc.
the irony is your edits are an example of the difficulty Turkey has with this issue. Turkey's problem is mentioned but to insist a page on the Ecumenical Patriarch has to talk about the Kurds is bizzare. This page is not an idictment of Turkey's genreral issues with all its minorities. It is not even mostly about its actions aganst the Patriarch. It is about the Patriarch. You are creating a situation where a wikipedia article on an instituion which has existed for over 1,000 years and is about Orthodox Christians (and a background which is mostly nothing to do with Turkey) should be a dominated by some kind of rational for several unrelated problematic policies of Turkey has generally. Please stop your endless reverts. you don't even have yourfacts straight.
What facts do I not have straight? Did I say the patriarch is not ecumenical? No. Did I say that it is banned in the Lausanne traty to use the ecumenical title? No. Did I insult patriarchy in any way? No. Did you say that I did all those? Yes. Who has things straight now? You decide. As for your nationalism, you really don't have to be this or that to be nationalist, in the broad sense of course. You are refusing to discuss an edit on the article on the sole basis of your perception that it puts a country more favorably than it deserves, and you are not putting forward a single argument for this. I had to make 20 edits to force you to put down an argument. Could you be more self righteous? And it was you who started name calling with my "nationalis screeds". Shame on you. Really.
As for the capricious part, as I said, like it or not Turkey has a rationale for the laws it forces on the patriarchy, when you just mention the law but not the background of it, you are making the government look like a bunch of idiots. Anyone who just learned about Patriarchy will of course go "who are these unreasonable people who inflict such an unreasonable rule on a respectable religious institution?" It is implicit, not explicit in the way you formulated the issue. Although I side with the patriarchy on the opression part, fairness requires you paying a lip service to the government's rationales. And putting a word about ecumenical title and Turkey's attitude toward it, is much more informative than your version as it distinguishes between a possible reading like turks always want a turkish patriarch: they want that influential office for turks and turks always want a turkish patriarch: they are afraid of the influence of that office and want to curb its universality by imposing such a rule. Of course you need to mention Laussanne too, that is all you hear when you say patriarch in Turkey. Anything related to patriarchy is seen through that lense and any improvements in the current situation will only be possible after Lausanne's place in Turkish government is reevaluated. Of course my comments do not belong to the article, but those keywords certainly do!
As for the Kurdish minority, I did not put it in the article, I put it in the disucssion for the reason you mentioned. However, as you made the minority issues in Turkey the substance of this talk, it is hard to see why you are upset that their names are mentioned in the discussion. It is half a sentence in the discussion for God's sake, couldn't you find anything more objectionable to attack me? Of course not counting the things you tried to make me look like I said, that is... As for NGO's and stuff, my version in no way contradicts what NGO's or you said earlier. I even added more criticism. That should be clear to anyone with basic reading abilities and a clear mind.
As for fairness, I think if you want to make an issue of religous freedoms in Turkey through the patriarchy, one can also mention the patriarchy's attitude during the occupation of Istanbul and Izmir, which explains the deep mistrust of the turkish governments to that institution. On the other hand of course, Greek nationalists should remember that the patriarch himself was very much opposed to Greek independence in 1820's. That unfortunately did not save him from the sultan's wrath and he got executed. These all suggest that what you put there as the condition of the patriarchy in Turkey is not even showing the tip of the iceberg. Well which may as well be how it should be as it is an article about just one institution, but the way it is formulated is more misrepresentative than representative of the situation.
As a last word, before retiring for the night, let me mention that it is obvious that you and your friends do not like to discuss things. It is really very hard to understand to complete erasure of my edits. I would be very happy to see you add to or subtract from what I have written there to find a reasonable middle ground. I am under no illusion that I said the final word over the issue, but unfortunately, that is your attitude. But at least ask yourselves this question: Wouldn't someone who just learned about patriarchy be surprised to see the last part of the article discuss religous freedom in Turkey out of the blue? In your version it is assumed that the people already know Patriarchy is in Istanbul, Turkey; Turkey is an overwhelmingly muslim country; and somehow have has a say about who becomes the patriarch. Even if you fell in love with the point of view you presented in the article, at least consider introducing more background. 07:29, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Having just witnessed a Turkish tour guide and two ordinarily mild-mannered Greek academics very nearly come to blows over this issue (we were visiting the Patriarchate), I have to say that I greatly appreciate both the Wikipedia article and this discussion page. It has been most illuminating. Personally, I think the article as it stands now, today, June 5 2006, does a pretty good job of stating things clearly, and of navigating several possible minefields. And given my experience today, I think having something about the controversy is most necessary. Alaraxis 18:54, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

"By contrast, spokespersons for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate have pointed to two positive developments. They welcomed the January 2008 statement in parliament by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the issue of whether its Patriarch, Bartholomew, is "Ecumenical" or not is an "internal" matter for the Patriarchate and that the state should not interfere. Previously the authorities have responded ferociously to any claims that Bartholomew's religious role extends beyond Istanbul's tiny surviving Greek Orthodox community." Eugene-elgato (talk) 14:06, 28 January 2009 (UTC)


Are you insane? The version you revert to does not even contain comprehensible sentences. Or is it that not making sense is a desired quality for an article which accuses Turkey so that people can't make their own decisions about such controversies? Even so please take time to read what you erased. All that is done was putting a few sentences clarifying the position of Turkey in imposing the citizenship requirement etc. but not necessarily promoting the position itself.

it is highly unproductive for anons to add a nationalist screed to wikipedia on a relgious leader.DaveHM
Something does not become nationalist screed just because you call it so. If you read the text you will notice that it is more critical of the turkish government's position then the previous version. My edit just explains why anything at all about Turkey and religious rights is mentioned in this article, cites Turkey's reason for a seemingly absurd law, gives some minor details omitted in the previous version and adds critical stuff related to religious rights in Turkey. If you care to read it, it does not really object to the ecumenic title but cites the fact that Turkey refuses to allow its usage. I guess this does not put Turkey more favorably than your version does. I think you behaving like a kid and refusing to put forward a single rationale for deleting my edits is the only unproductive thing here. The relevance of my being anon can only be your belief that if you are logged in you can erase anyone's work. I disrespectfully disagree.

Size and character of "issues of Religious freedom"[edit]

I am concerned of the strange edit and continual reverts that made the majority of the text a unneeded nationalist apologia on attempting to justify the repression of the patriarch. I think my countryman ought to excercise restraint in just using what he has been fed to rewrite make broad and unbalanced changes in a way that adds really terns the article into a nationalist polemic, and one with decreasing support in Turkey.

E.G., his/her comment" Well not restricted to Patriarchy but I think I also should mention that it has been the position of the Turkish governments since 1923 that all the issues relating to the minorities in Turkey were settled in the Treaty of Laussanne and Turkey is under no international obligations to provide more rights to its minorities.

If this is were the case, then this article must list a huge body of work by intrernational organizations, and indeed Turkish human rights experts, showing this assertion is patently false, and especially for the patriarch.

We would also need to add perhaps three or four paragraphs on the Istanbul Pogrom of the 1950's which in Turkey is now known to have a government pogrom against the Greek minority, which also targeted the Patriarch. Then we would have to add the unfortunate treatement of Pamuk, showing that even our majority commenting against the government line brings heavy persecution.

The version shown as Irpen is a balanced view. It does indeed mention Turkey's assertions but avoids allowing nationalist issues to pervert this article. tesekkur ederimHanukoglu 15:45, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Please someone tell me what is considered as an apology of Turkish governments attitude towards the patriarch in my edits. I am tired of people not reading what I write, blaming me of things that I am not, based on what I didn't write. I spent my last night trying to explain someone who thinks he knows everything that I didn't dispute the ecumenical title, that I did not insult the patriarch and that I did not support the government's position on this matter. And although what I wrote in the edit by no means contradicts his own edit, I was still accused of not having my facts right and trying to sneak in my point of view. Now a person who claims moral authority on this issue by only the virtue of being a Turkish himself tells me to be a government apologizer. If you tell me where I apologized for the government, and I apologize for doing that immediately. What I wrote there are just the facts.

As for other comments in minorities in Turkey, they are comments expressed in the discussion page, not in the article. You can tell the difference right? I did not even suggest that what I wrote here should be put into the article. What is going on with Kurds, greeks and other minorities can not be discussed without a reference to the status of the Lausanne treaty in Turkish political system and mindset and my remarks explaining the situation for those who are concerned enough about the patriarch's status in turkey to read this discussion. In fact I am totally against this narrow mindset and would like to see it changed as soon as possible. On the other hand, when you discuss the patriarch's opression in an article, which is something you might have chosen not to do, in all fairness you need to mention the basis of the turkish government's stance. Turkey considers itself to never have agreed to the ecumenical status and rightly or wrongly Turkish governments become very touchy when foreign powers raise their voices about minorities in turkey. Therefore as far as the turkish governments are concerned it is a matter concerning only the turkish citizens, and foreigners should keep out. This is a fact, not a personal point of view. It is the government's legal point of view. It may not be legally sound anyway, but I have not seen anyone dispute it yet. Expressing this fact is not an apology of this behavior which I don't support myself at the very first place. This fact deserves to be mentioned briefly in the article as you are expressing vague accusations of putting unreasonable restrictions on a religious institution by a secular government. If you don't explain what place this institution has in the turkish political system, of course it sounds more absurd than it really is. And what I put there in this direction is a mere two sentences. You have no problems with putting a full sentence about the title of Patriarch of Fener yourselves. In my opinion, who cares what the turkish government calls that office?

Well as I said, in the last 24 hrs or so I have been accused of being things I never was, saying things I never said. When I pointed out these errors all I got was more false accusations: insult, fabricating facts, apologizing for government, etc. . What? No sir, no one has apologized yet for their false accusations. Now your only rationale for rejecting my edit hinges on that somewhere other than the article I said something about this being a deep subject. So what? That was for the talking heads here, not for the article. And my fellow countryman, who thinks he should be saying the last word on the matter because ..., well because he is my countryman, puts another baseless accusation. I am really sorry that I brought that up. I thought of all the people on earth the wikipedia enthusiasts would be the ones to appreciate more background information. I was wrong, I am sorry. Don't bother trying to find sentences in my edit to support the claim that I am a nationalist, that I insult the patriarch, that I am a government apologizer... Of course you are above the small things like reading what others write, supporting what you say with facts and other established norms of a civilized discussion. This really was a big disappointment. By the way, what is really what I have been fed? Who has fed me that Turkish government is accused of violations of religious rights? Didn't you noticed I extended the criticisms there? Is there anything factually wrong in my edit? Yeah, I know, we turks pervert the articles. And being consistent is for us small mided, not for you. 20:02, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


Adding a couple of links and removing some. In wikipedia we do not have the Orthodox view or link on the history of Catholic Pope, not the Baptist view on the Pope, links etc. The links to New Advent are highly biased Catholic interpretations fo the history, and present serious NPOV issues.DaveHM 19:41, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

So pro-Orthodox links are allowed but ones to counter-balance those are not? Hairouna 18:05, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Should we begin by adding anti-Catholic links to the Roman Catholic Church article? —Preost talk contribs 21:23, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Andrew as Founder?[edit]

The Orthodox sometimes claim that the Apostle Andrew founded the See of Constantinople. I think this is demonstrably spurious, but I think the claim is common enough to warrant a mention in the article. Hairouna 17:01, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Ethnicity of the patriarch[edit]

I would like to ask from editors to stop removing the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch can only be an ethnic Greek of Turkish nationality. The only reason I didn't source this in the first place, is because I really regard it as common knowledge. It has a great importance on the modern politics of Greece and Turkey, the former trying to increase its minority in order to preserve the patriarchy, and the latter trying to eliminate it. So please stop being so obtuse and refrain from making blind edits which don't agree with your liberal principles. Miskin 13:59, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

This is (saddly) 100% correct. The patriarch has to be an ethnic Greek, Turkish citizen. Ankara refuses to grant Turkish citizanship to a a non-Turk who might be elected Patriarch. Copmpare this with the Vatican (a Polish, then a German Pope). Also compare this to a non-Greek monk who is accepted on Mount Athos, he is granted Greek citizenship.Politis 14:07, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Furthermore I present a quote from Encyclopaedia Britannica which summarizes the historical origin of this modern practice:
"The ruling millet within the empire was made up of the Muslims. Next in importance was the Orthodox Christian millet-i Rūm, or “Greek” millet, as it was known. There was also an Armenian, a Jewish, a Roman Catholic, and even, in the 19th century, a Protestant millet. Although its head, the ecumenical patriarch, was invariably of Greek origin, the term “Greek” millet was something of a misnomer, for it included, besides the Greeks, Romanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, Vlachs, and substantial Arab populations. With the rise of nationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries the non-Greek members of the “Greek” millet came increasingly to chafe at the Greek stranglehold on the higher reaches of the hierarchy of the Orthodox church, through which the millet was administered." Miskin 14:02, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Another source which I randomnly just found:
"For Turkish nationalists, the Patriarch – a Turkish citizen of ethnic Greek origin – is a tool of ancient foe Greece, whom they suspect of wanting to recreate a kind of "mini-Vatican" in the heart of Istanbul, the historic cradle of Orthodox Christianity." [5] Miskin 14:07, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

And another:
"The Greeks have always been well represented throughout the Middle East. The Patriarch of Constantinople (head of the Greek Orthodox Church) is an ethnic Greek who lives in Istanbul. Before the aftermath of the First World War, there were many Greeks who lived along the Turkish coast and on the islands thereby. Most of these Greeks have left Turkey for metropolitan Greece, but there are still sizable communities in Turkey, the Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Egypt. The Greek Orthodox Church claims oversight of the pilgrimage sites of Jerusalem, and there is a Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem." [6] Miskin 14:10, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

And another:
"The patriarch, who is an ethnic Greek but must reside in Istanbul and be a citizen of Turkey, may not interfere in the affairs of the fifteen autocephalous churches into which Orthodox Christianity is divided." [7] Miskin 14:13, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

An editor said: "t's impossible to 'prove' something that doesn't exist (eg no rule he must be a Martian)- the onus probandi is on you, nobody else even seems to believe it's possible to have such a canon law"
Acrually this is a recorded Turkish law. Your ignorance on the matter is your own issue, not wikipedia's. Miskin 14:15, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

"Spiritual leader"[edit]

I don't care what his press releases say; he's simply not "spiritual leader" of all the Orthodox in the usual sense of the term. Not like the Dalai Lama for Tibetan Buddhism, or the Pope in Roman Catholicism for example, since he possesses neither the spiritual nor hierarchical authority to "lead" in any real way other than those directly under his jurisdiction. Do I really need to provide cites to support this? It's in any standard reference. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:32, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Part of this issue seems to stem from the modern debate over the role of the EP. Traditionally, the EP has had a leadership role which is unique in the Church's episcopacy, but just what exactly that entails is not fully agreed upon in our own time. It ranges everywhere from an almost papal view (which is not the view taken by the EP itself; see, e.g., The Oecumenical Patriarchate in the Orthodox Church by Maximos of Sardes, one of the standard works the EP refers to) to regarding the EP as having a seniority which gives him pretty much just the privilege of the nicest seat at banquets.
The "spiritual leader" language doesn't really clarify any of this. What would perhaps be more helpful would be the addition of a section on the debate about the prerogatives of the patriarchate and also perhaps to work on this article and the patriarchate's article so as to sharpen the treatment of their subjects. —Preost talk contribs 13:12, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Csernica's comparison with the Dalai Lama and the Pope is irrelevant... cause if someone compares Dalai Lama with the Pope, with find as many differences as when comparing the Pope with the Ecumenical Patriarch: Dalai Lama is considered the reincarnation of Buddha, with sole spiritual authority. the Pope is elected, and faces critisism from time to time by the Catholics. Dalai Lama's status as a spiritual leader, makes him the supreme figure in Buddhism for all his lifetime, whereas the Pope, can resign, or been removed by the cardinals (under special circumstances).
Anyway, about the case of the Ecumenical Patriarch as the spiritual leader of all the Orthodox: i do not care either what his press releases say... but "surprisingly", the same thing is what the others say as well: Bartholomew spoke in the European Parliament, visited the USA, Iran, Egypt (where he had a meeting with Mumbarak, before Theodore II, by "breaking" the protocol regarding the other Orthodox Patriarchs...), Cuba, Vatican, Italy etc etc, as the head of all the Orthodox (with the Ecumenical status that he has). In Pope John Paul's funeral in the Holy See, he was sitting in the first line, in a honorary place, exactly because he is considered by the Vatican as the leader of all the Orthodox (and second important figure in Christianity, after the Pope-something that neither he nor the Greeks-dispute). about his authorities, maybe take a look in the case of Patriarch Irenaios, and who made the efforts for him to resign... Lastly, someone can just go to an Orthodox church... he will listen the priest naming 'Bartholomew' before all the others, under the title 'Ecumenical'; this just means that he is the 'worldwide spiritual leader' of the Orthodox. Apropos, only Turkey disputes this title... all the others acknowledge and regard him as Ecumenical-the Head of all the Orthodox... I am restoring the edit. --Hectorian 14:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Hectorian, most of the examples you give of how Patriarch Bartholomew is honored essentially corresponds to ASDamick's remark that he is generally given the nicest seat at banquets. As for going to an Orthodox Church and listening to who is named, that is indeed a good check. He is never named at all at my own OCA parish or any other I've attended. I think I recall hearing him mentioned first at our local Greek Orthodox parish when I've visited there. The Antiochian Orthodox normally begin with the Patriarch of Antioch, if I'm not mistaken. I think ASDamick was right when he said that the exact role of the "Ecumenical Patriarch" today is being debated within the Orthodox Church. Wesley 16:19, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
As Wesley said, the EP is not mentioned in the Liturgies in any parishes but those directly under his omophor. The exception is when a primate serves and the Diptychs are read, but then the EP is only the first mentioned among all the other primates. "Ecumenical" does not mean the "Head of all the Orthodox", but only signifies his authority over the old Imperial City, Constantinople. That in recent decades he has taken on more of an uncanonical, "papal" role is extremely controversial, and in general has done far more harm than good.
And as a side note, the Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of the boddhisatva of compassion, not Gautama Buddha himself. He's more or less elected, since he's identified by a "search committee" with which one might well draw a parallel with Rome's College of Cardinals. He has no official authority outside Tibetan Buddhism, and although he is well-regarded he is certainly not immune to criticism. No more than the Pope is. That really is an apt comparison despite the obvious differences, at least with regard to governance over the religious communities which they head. TCC (talk) (contribs) 17:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The term 'Ecumenical' does not signify his authority over Constantinople. The word "Ecumenical" (from greek Οικουμενικός) simply means "worldwide", "of the whole world", "of the whole Οικουμένη (=World). Wesley was talking about the parishes of the Orthodox Church in America, a autocephaly not universally recognized church as this article says. Noone expects from a Church to mention the one who does not recognise it. In all the Eastern Orthodox Churches in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate (i.e. Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, etc) he is mentioned first accombanied by the term Ecumenical. In the same way, in the liturgies in Greek Orthodox Churches, the Patriarch of Alexandria is mentioned 2nd, the Patriarch of Moscow 5th, the Patriarch of Georgia 6th, and so on... In any case, we are talking about the EP being the spiritual leader and so far, i have seen nothing that could justify the removal of this term from the article. I have presented some points for this thing and in addition, many more are in this article or in others. so, in order to summarize:

  • Noone (apart from Turkey) disputes the title Ecumenical Patriarch and the usage of it by him. (in case some users do not really know what this word means, i have translated it-and i am sure they can search if i did it right).
  • He is mentioned first, along with the term Ecumenical in all the Churches of the Eastern Orthodox Cummunion that recognise each other (OCA that was mentioned before, is the only one that is not recognised by all the others[8], so, using it as an example, is at least irrelevant, if not suspicious...)
  • The EP is perhaps the only Orthodox Patriarch that is accepted by foreign governments of various states with honours of a head of state. Moreover, he is admitted by Presidents and is visited by them, as the 'Spiritual Leader' of all the Orthodox.
  • He is the only one who can call for Pan-Orthodox Councils, always taking place in Constantinoupolis.
  • In the name of all the Orthodox, he visits the Pope and takes part in the dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox Churches. no other orthodox patriarch does, and noone disputes his role as the 'spiritual leader' when talking about religious dialogues with other Christian Churches or other religions.

I will revert the article again. And i will keep doing it, unless someone provides reasonable reasons not to. the examples that i read in this section, justify not calling him simply 'Leader' (having judical, economic, administrative etc power over the other Orthodox Churches), but by no means justify not calling him 'Spiritual Leader'! --Hectorian 19:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

And ASDamick was talking about the Antiochian Church. They don't commemorate the EP in their services either. Neither do the Russians. Or the Serbs. Or Jerusalem. Or Alexandria. Or any of the other churches you mention, aside from when the Primate has the diptychs read. The EP is simply not commemorated with the hierarchy in any autocephalous church other than his own. In this case it's you who must provide a cite to support your position that he is, since you're the one making a positive claim. But you won't find any because it's not true.
"Οικουμένη" literally means the inhabited world, but colloquially meant the Empire and that's how it was taken. See, for example, Luke 2:1, where although "πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην" is commonly translated "all the world" it obviously couldn't have meant that because Augustus didn't rule the whole world and didn't think he did. Do you really think that the Ecumenical Librarian -- i.e. the chief librarian of Constantinople -- was the librarian for the whole world? If it really did mean "universal", then St. Gregory's criticisms of the title are perfectly apt.
The treatment of the EP by secular powers is neither here nor there. They want a Pope-like figure, so he presents himself as one. It is surely not to his advantage to discourage this with the truth. And he has no authority to negotiate with the Pope on behalf of all the Orthodox. The Popes themselves have come to realize this, which is one reason why JPII kept up a round of visits with the heads of several Orthodox Churches, and why he was so desperate to get to Russia.
Fact is you've been presented with many cogent reasons why it's best the other way and insist on edit warring against several other editors anyway. I'm reverting again. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:48, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Is there a reason we can't have a section which mentions the "spiritual leader" language, how pervasive it is in the press, and what the current debate over the EP's prerogatives entails? —Preost talk contribs 22:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Certainly we can. But I think to state flat-out that he's the "spiritual leader" is inappropriate. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
...but to say that he is just the "senior bishop" is not? is that what u think? u make it seem that the EP is nothing more than an archibishop or "just" another patriarch! u are somewhere between the Turkish government (bishop of the greeks in Istanbul) and the rest (spiritual leader of all the orthodox)... I am perfectly aware of the term "Οικουμένη", but once more (as u did with Dalai Lama), u prefered to mix all things up... U prefer to believe that there is a sort of a consiracy, led by the Pope, the governments, etc, that want to make him seem like an 'Orthodox Pope'. let me ask u something? who negotiated with the Pope (on behalf of all the Orthodox) for a reunification of the churches back in the 15th century? or maybe, who was the one that has equal blame for the great schism along with the Pope? u know the answer: the Ecumenical Patriarch. btw, who lifted the anathema on behalf of all the Orthodox? the answer: Patriarch Athenagoras. still, u refuse him been talking for all the Orthodox in the catholic-orthodox dialogue? btw, how desperate was John Paul to visit Russia? he was "desperate" enough to visit Greece, that when he came here, he did not kiss the ground, nor he mentioned filioque when publicly praying with the archibishop of Athens...! I agree with ASDamick about a new section, but till then, i will keep reverting (u see, edit-warring needs at least two users). PS: in some liturgies in Greece, only the local bishops are mentioned. does this means that they are spiritual leaders, equal to the EP? no. they are just local 'spiritual leaders'... --Hectorian 23:41, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Historically, it is the case that the EP is neither a papal figure nor is he merely a holder of honor without any kind of authority. I agree that "spiritual leader" without any qualification or description is inappropriate for the article. But I also agree that the EP historically and even today has a role which is unique among the Orthodox episcopacy. The article should describe this unique role and the debate which surrounds it. Can we agree to cease the edit war and work on a new section? I'll begin it. —Preost talk contribs 00:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Fr Deacon above and will be happy with a new section on the EP's role since this is an important topic. But just for academic interest:
U prefer to believe that there is a sort of a consiracy, led by the Pope, the governments, etc, that want to make him seem like an 'Orthodox Pope'. I never mentioned a conspiracy. It's just that governments and similar organizations tend to want there to be a "man at the top", and they will sometimes see one even when a more nuanced understanding of his position is called for. When non-Orthodox see a hierarchical, liturgical, traditional church, they expect there to be a Pope-like figure involved because that's their only experience.
Spiritual leader does not equals Papacy! Now u blamed the governments, but a few minutes ago [9], you re-inserted what i had removed from the article about the journalists. how sad... tell me, who on earth names him the "Orthodox spiritual leader"? the journalists or the governments? or maybe his faithful? or perhaps all? u are making blind reverts that contradict to your comments on the talk. isn't that a POV-pushing? --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
who negotiated with the Pope (on behalf of all the Orthodox) for a reunification of the churches back in the 15th century? No one person. At the Council of Florence a great many of the Eastern bishops participated. This is the sole council in the 15th century that accomplished any kind of union. The EP was not the main disuptant on the Orthodox side.
And many cardinals did! this doesn't mean that the Pope had nothing to do with it! may i have to remind u that in that time the Russian orthodox were under the direct (by all means) control of the EP? even the bishops of russia were Greek... those orthodox who negotiated with the catholics in Florence were send/chosen/spoke on behalf of the EP. no dispute about that. --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
or maybe, who was the one that has equal blame for the great schism along with the Pope? Are you thinking of Michael Cerularius? You must know that the anathemas of 1054 didn't make much of a schism as such things go. The Patriarch was personally excommunicated on one side, and the Papal legation and the Pope himself were personally excommunicated on the other. This did not sever intercommunion everwhere, nor for very long where it did. The "final" break came later.
I know, i know. but officially, the EP and the Pope were the two poles of the Great schism. who can deny this? perhaps u... --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
btw, who lifted the anathema on behalf of all the Orthodox? the answer: Patriarch Athenagoras. This didn't happen. There was no anathema issued "on behalf of all the Orthodox" in the first place; one cannot lift what was never imposed. The anathemas were personal, not jurisdictional, and it's these personal anathemas that were lifted. It was a purely symbolic gesture.
Symbolic yes, but with huge importance for the relations of the two large christian denominations! the anathemas were personal, cause they referred to Orthodox(Ecumenical Patriarch) and Catholics(Pope). by "mistake" (?) u call him Spiritual leader of the Orthodox here... --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
still, u refuse him been talking for all the Orthodox in the catholic-orthodox dialogue? This is a difficult sentence to parse. If I understand you correctly: the fact is that RC-Orthodox dialogue has been taking place on many levels, in many places. I know one of the participants in the North American talks personally. This, much more than anything between the EP and Rome, is where real theological understanding between the two sides is coming about. (Not because North American Orthodox have any special insight, but becuase here we live in a very mixed society and the opportunity for mutual understanding is nearly unprecedented.)
Many levels, many sides, many people... are we playing with the words here? u say u know a participant (priest, bishop, ...whatever) there. i bet u do! but who is talking with the Pope? the Ecumenical Patriarch! of course there are levels: an archibishop may have a talk concerning the C-O dialogue with a Cardinal... but the two spiritual leaders talk diarectly. again, u seem to accept "by mistake" him as the Spiritual leader of all the Orthodox. --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
btw, how desperate was John Paul to visit Russia? Very. It was one of the long-term goals of his Papacy. That he never succeeded he considered to be a serious failure.
Why didn't he go to Russia? the "rival orthodox spiritual leader", Alexius, refused him? (sorry, can't help it been sarcastic, since it seems that your edits reflet the "conflict" between Bartholomew and Alexius... --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
he was "desperate" enough to visit Greece, that when he came here, he did not kiss the ground, nor he mentioned filioque when publicly praying with the archibishop of Athens...! It was a goodwill visit, nothing more. That was the purpose of all of JPII's visits to Orthodox countries, to elicit local good will. Real negotiations practically never happen on so high a level during such events these days. That's not how international relations work.
To your information, he was really desparate to come in Greece and visit the places where St.Paul(significal figure for him-hence his name-and the RC, as co-founder of the See of Rome) firstly preached in Europe (Pnyka, for example). desparate enough to say that, if the church of Greece had rejected to accept him as the Catholic leader (as it was rumoured), he would come as a head of state (that he is-Vatican). furthermore, he apologised publicly for the 4th Crusade! so, how "desperate" was he? (btw, i really admired that guy, that's why i am putting "..." in specific words...-maybe that's another form of sarcasm, but believe me, not for him...) --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
U said: It was a goodwill visit, nothing more. That was the purpose of all of JPII's visits to Orthodox countries, to elicit local good will. Real negotiations practically never happen on so high a level during such events these days. is this another pro-Alexius comment? (i am careful enough not to say pro-Russian-Orthodox!): That was (i.e. goodwill visit) the purpose of all of JPII's visits to Orthodox countries, to elicit local good will->but not the the Orthodox coutries that he didn't visit (see Russia)... It was a goodwill visit, nothing more->reducing the significant of the first Papal visit in Greece after more than a millenium...!!!! Real negotiations practically never happen on so high a level during such events these days->the late Pope negotiated with Bartholomew(during his visit in Rome in 2004). what is "real negotiations on so high level" for u? negotiations with Alexius? Maybe this comment does not deserve such a break-down, but i take the risk... Your edits does not give me more options... --Hectorian 04:36, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
PS: in some liturgies in Greece, only the local bishops are mentioned. does this means that they are spiritual leaders, equal to the EP? As my own bishop is wont to point out, this is actually the most correct usage. The commemoration of the primate at the liturgy, which I know to be a Russian custom and may prevail elsewhere as well, is an innovation. And yes, the local bishop really is the spiritual leader of his diocese, in a much truer sense than the EP can be thought of one everywhere but in his own diocese. TCC (talk) (contribs) 02:18, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
It is not a russian custom. (Does this reflecting your edits????). it has to do with the ranking of the bishops, that's all! non of them denies the supremacy of the EP, especially here, in Macedonia. Regards --Hectorian 03:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Firstly, i want to to congratulate ASDamick for his good job and thank him for the time he spent in order to end this dispute (without this meaning that the particular section cannot be expanded and improved). I have made a minor correction by removing the sentenced refeared to the whole issue only as a 'journalistic matter'. Secondly, just for the record, i will answer to each of Csernica's comments-replies above. --Hectorian 03:10, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I was just about to answer to your comments above, when i saw your revert... well, there is a simple google search[10] with only the words "orthodox spiritual leader bartholomew" and it gives 111,000 results... search yourself, and u will see that not only journalists name him this way... If u won't revert yourself, i'll do it soon... --Hectorian 03:21, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
This is just too much. Didn't you read my edit summary? The top results on that search are all news articles and press releases! I must insist on something reputable. Like a book. Like, say, the standard English-language reference on Orthodoxy, written by a bishop of the EP Kallistos Ware (under his given name Timothy Ware.) It's online here [11]. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:27, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Take a look in this one [12] google search by using the words "catholic spiritual leader benedict" (perfect equivelent of what i posted before!). Miraculo!!! Benedict XVII is not the spiritual leader of the Catholics, cause the first results are news articles and press releases! are u kidding me? is this the way that u are trying to eliminate this term from this article? come on! find a better one... So, i guess i have to revert (after explaining everything with proof-even if this time it comes from just a google search..., but i was challeged to do so...) --Hectorian 04:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC)


Okay, let's discuss reputable sources. The "spiritual leader" language is used in a lot of press releases and news stories. It is not, however, one of the EP's official titles, nor does it seem to be used in scholarly sources on Orthodoxy. Let's try to cease the endless reversions and hammer out some agreed-upon citations.

The EP's website does use the phrase spiritual leader to describe the current EP, but it is at one point in the article modified by the word primary (thus, "primary spiritual leader"), which definitely qualifies the role in a way different from the "spiritual leader of the world's [insert figure] Orthodox Christians" language one often sees in the press. I actually think the 2nd paragraph in that article does a good job of expressing what we're talking about here as the EP's unique role:

As Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, Patriarch Bartholomew occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church and presides in a fraternal spirit among all the Orthodox Primates. The Ecumenical Patriarch has the historical and theological responsibility to initiate and coordinate actions among the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, The Czech Land and Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, and numerous archdioceses in the old and new worlds. This includes the convening of councils or meetings, facilitating inter-church and inter-faith dialogues and serving as the primary expresser of Church unity as a whole. As Ecumenical Patriarch he transcends every national and ethnic group on a global level and today is the spiritual leader of approximately 250 million faithful world-wide.

The last sentence in particular indicates that the EP sees the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" as something not bound to the Roman Empire, but rather as an indication of his unique position among all Orthodox bishops. This is what the patriarchate means when it uses the phrase spiritual leader to describe the Patriarch. We could include this quotation in the article and record how the phrase is used and understood in the press. —Preost talk contribs 12:47, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

What a bunch of partisan tripe! I'm Antiochian Orthodox and even we refer to the Greek patriarch as "Ecumenical Patriarch". The term stems from being the First Among Equals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcolton (talkcontribs) 00:16, 15 December 2009 (UTC)


File:Ecumenical Patriarchate.jpg
Seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Phanar in Istanbul, Turkey

Is this the right article to place this picture? -- Scriberius 14:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

removing historically known as the "Greek Patriarch"[edit]

I am removing the line:" He has been historically known as the "Greek Patriarch", as a distinction from the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople."

In all respect to the individual who added item I dont think they studied the history or terminology and are making a statemetn that is objectively false.

I have looked at a good deal of the Ottoman history, and Roman and the Byzantine history and the Modern Turkish history of this institution and its self descriptions, descriptions by other Christian denominations, primary historical sources through its approximately 1700 years of existance.

To say "historically known as 'Greek Patriarch'" is very strange construct and reflects a poor knowledge since for most of the institution's "history" such a name would not just be rare, but actually NEVER occured either by the institution itself or by any outside observer for almost all of its history.

Probably 1000 yesars with no one saying the phrase "Greek Patriarch" at all!

Historically one has the overwhelming dominance of "Patriarch of Constantinople". Following this 1000 or more years, we have Ottoman times. His name was still in his title, and that of both other Christian worlds "Patriarch of Constantinople." 'By the Ottoman authorities other Moslems his name was continiously and exclusively "Rum" Patriarch. Rum is a shifting term, but one can say for certain that it was not the term the Ottomans used to mean Greeks. So it is not translated then nor should it be here now, as equal to "Greek". They did not consider the Patriarch "Greek" (Yunan), and indeed the Patriarch was often not in the sense we think of today. So they may have diffentiated from the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople but they did so with a term that does not translate as "Greek.

The actual "Greek" identity or usage (not the same always) in naming by anyone is everything BUT historic, in fact decidely "recent" and in recent times it is still a minority description.

The term "Greek Patriarch" appear only in a certain small area of certain exarchies after the formation of exarchies in the Balkans. This is an extremely narrow time relative to the history (decades), the term "Greek Patriarch" is used by this people as part of identity/national movements. Yes, from 1870 Bulgarian, from 1870's Romanian, nationalists (I don't use this perjoratively) as well as Macedonian identity (with or without Bulgarian identity) and various advocates used this term "Greek Patriarch" to refer to the Patriarch of Constantinople differientiate themselves. Observers of the nationalist phenomena might also use the term in describing event sat that time in that place. the central Balkans is the very small minority of Orthodox (excludes Anatolia, Greece, Russia) so for almost all Orthodox they never used that term even at that time. Futhermore they stopped using this term after full political independence. In the history after 1920's they mean it mostly to be the Patriarch of Greece in Athens (a differnt person).

So one is making incorrect statement and injecting the narrative and language of nationalist movements that represent a small portion of the Orthodox Church and for a small very time.

This leaves two other usages of Greek Patriarch to refer to him. They are both minor in scope. First is some some option of visiting or commenting western non Orthodox persons (again Orthodox would say "Patriarch of Constantinople"), differentialting with the Armenian Patriarch. But this is absurd to use here since the same adjective description is used then and now in Jerusalem, Alexandria etc where there is also an Armenian Orthodox Patriarchs. So the term "Greek Patriartch" means several different persons contermporainiously in other places.

When you see it used by serious people anyway refering to Istanbul OR Jerusalem OR Alexandria , it is "Greek Orthodox Patriarch" not "Greek Patriarch."

The last is in Turkey. Again, No Ottoman would have called him Yunan Patriarch. Without going in deep to the politics of this, through most of modern Turkish history he is refered to as Fener Patriarch, or Fener Rum Patriarch. This is translated these days since the mid 1950s more as as Fener Greek Patriarch. No one in Turkey is aying this is to avoid confusion with the Armenians. Some Turkish academics and Human Rights Groups are saying the change from Rum to "Greek" has been about imposing in the name a foriegn and threatening identity of the Greek boogeyman, and in the "Fener", which is a small district, reducing his stature. (This iswhy the state is crazy against Ecumenical.)

In my opinion these movements away from the title he offially has from his own religion are about in some cases western bias, in this some short bursts of ethnic identity movements by others, and in other sad cases, fear of religious freedom or government acts acts agaist it. I think of some of you take some time to look at what is really going on, you will see that taking away his title and description his church gives him maybe is reinforcing an ongoing and sad wrong.

Of note, the Pope's wikipedia page has his titles and descripotors reading like his offical biography.

LOL, I hope noone has been confusing a single letter here, with GREEN Patriarch, which is a commonly known nickname title for him, given his widely acclaimed efforts in promoting ecological interests and developing an Orthodox ethics of the ecology. Eugene-elgato (talk) 14:11, 28 January 2009 (UTC)


I just couldn't stop myself from getting into this debate: Turkey doesn't have to recognize the ecumenical or whatever title of anyone.. Turkey abolished the CALIPHATE, now u r saying that it should recognize some loony title?? Of course the government's position is that he is the bishop of greeks of turkey.. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense coming from a country that abolished the papacy of Islam.. I can see that the reestablishment of both would give Istanbul a huge prestige in the world, but at what cost? More men in weird costumes walking around etc.. You know, as a Turk, I have no problems with the opening of the school of Halki, but this is different.. That's why I find it wrong that it is mentioned as if Turkish government is oppressing the Greeks by refusing to recognize this title, if it were to be mentioned, it should also be mentioned that the same republic also abolished the caliphate.. IN FACT, what the patriarch has is much more than normal turkish law would allow, and that thanks to Lausanne, per the law of 1924, all religious institutions in Turkey depend on the state, it reserves the right to appoint all religious instructors and titles as it wishes.. and that's how it should be.. I neither want to see the caliph, nor the ecumenical patriarch in my city (i am talking about the titles, not the persons obviously)... Baristarim 22:52, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Titles are going with the persons... u want to see Bartholomew, but not Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew? Of course religious institutions in Turkey depend on the state, that's why the Theological School of Halki is closed... We all know well that the Treaty of Lausanne says nothing about 'Ecumenical' title, so it is only the turkish state that does not recognise it, based on no treaty. this title has been used for centuries, so no matter what the modern turkish state tries to do, the title cannot be taken away, unless Bartholomew drops it (as the Pope recently did with the 'Patriarch of the West' title). Perhaps what u mention shows the opposite of what u meant to say: there is no secularism in Turkey... the Patriarch is deprived of his privilleges, the Patriarchate has lost its properties, of course and ,unlike the sunni religious leaders, he and all the other clerics are not state paid, the Patriarch has to be someone that Turkey accepts, not to mention that he has to be turkish citizen by birth, even though the greek orthodox minority has been driven away... the fact that Turkey abolished the caliphate is something that the other muslims states may have a word on this. but in the case of the Ecumenical Patriarch, who lives there far more years than Turkey or Turks, no state should be allowed to abolish any title. btw, his Ecumenical title is recognised by everyone, except Turkey of course: all the christian denominations refer to him as such, all the european states, the EU and its parliament (were he made a speech as head of state and where the case of Turkey's stance has been adressed in high level), the USA, he visited Egypt and Iran a couple of years ago under his Ecumenical title (in Egypt he was accepted as sort of a head of state, btw), and, guess what, the Pope is going to meet in November the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, not the bishop of the local 1,500 remaining Greeks! and may be a loony title to u, but it is not for the Christians. and the Turkish government is oppressing the Greeks by refusing to recognize this title! in the same way that none of those who placed bombs in the Patriarchate, 2-3 times the last decade, has ever been brought in front of justice! Hectorian 23:39, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, it is five bomb attacks: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 and (cause some things never change) 2004... Hectorian 23:42, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Damn! i keep finding more... also in 1998... Hectorian 23:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
ha ha :)) Anyways I see your point in the sense that Turkey gives a preference to sunni islam.. That I already know :)) And I am not happy about that either.. If it was up to me I would dissolve the dep of relig affairs (or treat and control all religions equally, i would actually support the state paying the salaries of bishops considering that it pays imams) All I am saying is that I am against the use of titles, period.. What is a title? I mean who has the right to add some word to his name and use it to mean that he is somehow superior to others (even only spiritually). I am also against Pope coming to visit the Patriarch, what is this?? Istanbul is not some sort of circus.. :)) Maybe if people didn't keep on insisting that they are the ultimate supreme masters of the universe, they would get some recognition.. People have a right to use any title they want, but others have a right not to recognize it.. He can call himself the King of Moon and Mars if he likes.. You know, u r giving the examples of all these countries, but in most of these countries there are many people who are extremely uncomfortable with this religious renaissance - I went out with a commie girl from Rome, u got no idea how she hated to hear the Pope calling himself the Son of the Spirit of the master of the galaxy.. A republic has the right to abolish all the titles it wishes, as long as that republic depends on the principle of national sovereignty, it is the nation that is sovereign, not the individuals or religions.. No matter how long the church has existed.. Baristarim 00:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I fail to see the problem, if all christians recognize him as such, than what else does he want? You cannot force someone to accept your title.. What you should understand, however, with all the critique of the influence of Sunni Islam etc, any change in the status of the patriarch (maybe except the citizenship rule) would violate the secular laws of the republic. BTW, something that is very important: it is not the Turkish state that doesn't want to pay for the church, it is the church that doesn't accept because there are tags (same thing happened with Halki - govt offered to open it as part of the university system and the church refused): the moment TR starts paying for the church, it will become like any other church and mosque of Turkey that has access to state funds - and it is the EGO of the patriarch that pushes him to not accept it no, you WILL recognize my superiority, I am not some just common church or mosque, i am the king of neptune, yeah that attitude is also offensive towards people who are not orthodox, and people generally are not too sympathetic towards people who have big egos - that's the real problem, he has to accept that he is a human being like the rest of us.. The day he did that there would be no problems coz if someone pretends they are better than me, i got the right to prove them wrong by giving them a ego-deflation.. That's exactly what the TR is doing in many ways.. Baristarim 00:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • For the bombings, no need to mention, they are despicable, there are way too many wolves running around :)) Baristarim 00:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the Patriarch (neither the current nor a previous one) never said that he is not human, neither that he is superior than others... He is the spiritual leader of 300 million people, and Turkey (for internal reasons) does not want to recognise it. perhaps the turkish government should start thinking: 'well kemal was only human and he is dead for decades... some things that he said were just crap...'. That very moment they may begin to understand what 'religious tolerance' and 'protection of the minorities' is. as for why the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not want Turkey to control its institutions, it is obvious:
Article 40 of the Lausanne Treaty:
Turkish nationals belonging to non-Muslim minorities shall enjoy the same treatment and security in law and in fact as other Turkish nationals. In particular, they shall have an equal right to establish, manage and control at their own expense, any charitable, religious and social institutions, any schools and other establishments for instruction and education, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their own religion freely therein. their own expense... use their own language...
Article 42 of the same Treaty:
(Turkish Government undertook) to grant full protection to the churches, synagogues, cemeteries, and other religious establishments
and that
All facilities and authorisation will be granted to the pious foundations, and to the religious and charitable institutions (of the minorities) at present existing in Turkey...
Article 87:
Turkey undertakes that the stipulations contained in Articles 38 - 44 shall be recognised as fundamental laws and that no law, nor regulation, nor official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation, nor official action prevail over them.
and of course Article 43 which specifically provides that:
in so far as the (Treaty) affect(s) non-Muslim nationals of Turkey, these provisions constitute obligations of international concern...
so, obviously, the Lausanne Treaty has been turnt into "toilet paper", and certainly not by the Patriarch...
and about the bombings: surprisingly (and that was my comment for) noone has been brought to justice! having in mind that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has not been provided the extra protection that surely needs and has asked for from the turkish government, i (and i guess everyone) can draw conclusions on who may be hiding behind the "wolves"...
U are a lawyer, Baristarim, do figure out please:) Hectorian 00:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Turkish title[edit]

Guys, I'm not actually quite sure what you're debating here, but judging from the article's edit history you are engaging in another silly dispute about names. Baaaaad. First, can we please distinguish the question of

  1. "what's his title in Turkish"
    from the question of
  2. "what's his title as recognised by the Turkish government"?

These are not the same thing. Because the Turkish government doesn't own the Turkish language. There are people who recognise his orthodox titles and people who do not do so, and either can speak about him in any language, Turkish, Greek, English or whatnot. So: "Evrensel Patrigi" is his religious orthodox title translated into Turkish. As such it's presumably what a Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christian would use. "Fener Rum Patrigi" is what the great majority of non-Christian Turks use. Which of these titles is favoured by this or that government is of absolutely no concern for Wikipedia. Why don't you guys simply give both versions? Fut.Perf. 18:15, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Because the article's title is Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, so it doesn't belong in the first paragraph. We could mention in in the "Issues of religious freedom" section where the Turkish government's position on his rank is explained.--Tekleni 18:18, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you will tolerate only the "affirmative" religious versions of the title in the lead sentence, that would smack a bit of non-neutrality. The article is not only about the religious concept but about the real-world institution, and all names that are commonly used to refer to it in the real world, whether they be affirming its religious role or not, should be treated equally. I suggest to take all the non-English versions out of the lead sentence and join it with the "Greek Patriarch" thingie into a short names-and-titles passage at the end of the lead section. The patriarch is referred to as X by A, Y by B, and Z by C.... Rule of thumb: whenever non-English names need explanations, disclaimers, POV annotations etc., they should preferably be in such a position. Fut.Perf. 18:31, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
How is this?--Tekleni 18:41, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't edit-war against it, as far as I'm concerned... Fut.Perf. 19:11, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Problems remain. For eample "Greek Patriarch" is not either an official title nor an accurate "real world" title/descriptor. The "Greek Patriarch" seems to refer to other Patriarchs. We can't say it is historical, that is even more innacurate. The government of Turkey's title also belongs in the religiuos freedom section not the starting paragraph. 10:10, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The patriarch is ethnic Greek by definition, and the term "Greek Patriarch of Constantinople" is in use since the middle ages by scholars, ecclesiasts and people alike. The problem that you are not familiar with the topic is none of wikipedia's business. Miskin 10:19, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

This is but a continuation since 1721 of the Patriarchate of Moscow, which had been established in 1589 by the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, Jeremias II, who up to that time had ruled the Russian Orthodox Church.


So now you know. Miskin 10:24, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Factual Inaccuracy[edit]

The Patriarchy is not a world-wide recognized organization, the title and the article factually incorrect! E104421 14:49, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The article's title merely refers to the title traditionally (and currently) used by this office and the person occupying it. Canonical recognition is a different matter. I am a Protestant, but any Protestants I know of nevertheless refer to Benedict XVI as the "Pope" since that is the title he normally goes by. Same situation here and with the "Dalai Lama" and a "Grand Mufti" and a thousand other titles. Using the title these people use for themselves, merely helps with identification. It doesn't imply that others also recognize these people religiously. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 12:41, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Valentinian is right! and this is how all people think of the title and the Patriarch in Europe and the world... However in fact, it's not exactly the title that is disputed... Some people (see Turkish government) dispute the usage of the title 'Ecumenical' out of fear and of what goes along with this title... But wikipedia is not the "spokesperson" of any government... If someone disputes the title in the future, i am ready (as i've said before) to provide sources by EU, USA, Egypt, Iran, the Vatican, BBC, Reuters, RAIUNO, Russia, etc etc. It is so easy to deal with this... Hectorian 13:18, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Not all people, but especially the greek orthodox ones. The "Istanbul Fener Rum Patrikhanesi" (the official name, which is also accepted by the Patriarchy itself) is the re-organized form of Patriachy after The Treaty of Lausanne (Patrik Doroteos?/Meletius IV and some others left Istanbul with Greek occupation forces, cause they collaborated during the occupation of Ottoman Empire). Today, all the Patriarchy is due Turkish laws. Souces including newspaper content do not change this fact. This is just a part of propaganda to promote the patriachy to ecumenical status (as done here cause the original name of the article was Patriarch of Constantinople (see [14]) but changed by User:Hectorian on 17:30, 2 October 2006 to Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople) E104421 12:29, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
All those i mentioned above call the Patriarchate, Ecumenical. If u look closer in the Treaty of Lausanne, u will see that it does not adress the issue, so, it changed nothing concerning this. A glimpse in the official site and just a couple of official declarations and invitations concerning the Patriarch by countries other than Turkey, will convince everyone that the term used by Turkey is not used by anyone else. as for Meletius, better ask why the Patriarchate was vacant during 1918-1921. Also, have in mind that the Greeks never "occupied" the city, for it was under international (aka British) administration. The Patriarchate was not "re-organised" after the Treaty of Lausanne, but it was Turkey which, one-sided, deprived the Ecumenical Patriarch from his privillages and the Patriarchate from its property and institutions. Also, the patriarchate does not "exist" due to the turkish laws, but has been in its place for more than a millenium before the turks came in the region. A couple of years ago, there was an issue concerning the Patriarch of Jerusalem. All the Orthodox Patriarchs (Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Serbian, of Antioch, of Alexandria) gathered in the city after Bartholomew's invite, and after following his opinion, they declared Irenaios or Jerusalem as not valid. Primus inter parem for the Orthodox, in other words, Ecumenical. Apropos, the Pope will go there in less than a month to visit the Ecumenical Patriarch, not the "Rum Patrikhanesi" or however the Turks call him... Hectorian 13:58, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
As for my move of the article, this was made in accordance to this, and this was not a move that I made. also, better talk about vandalisms like this, if u insist talking about propagandas... Lastly, and seriously, u wanna see sources on how the Patriarch calls himself and how ALL the rest (apart from Turkey) do? Better live with it... The Turkish government, once more isolates itself... Hectorian 14:05, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, in the Lausanne, there is nothing about the patriachy, but Turkish government let the patriachy to stay in Istanbul after the treaty. The negotiations had been done in Lausanne. Most of the patriachy members already left the city after the greek occupation forces (a small nuance: i never mentioned greek occupation of istanbul but try to point out that the patriarchy members left at the same time with greek forces). The Turkish goverment that day assumed good will by permitting the Patriachy to stay in Istanbul. Furthermore, the Patriarchy never declared itself as ecumenical. This just a propaganda to promote the patriachy to a vatican-like status. Even the many orthodox people other than greek orthodoxs oppose this promotion.
P/s: Hectorian, please do not mix/compare other's contributions with mine. What Mustafa Akalp had done does not reflect my opinion. I'm only responsible for my own edits. Furthermore, i'm always trying to find a way to compromise rather than edit warring. I stated my own comments here but never edited the article yet (you can check the contribution history). E104421 14:45, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
You accused me of making propaganda, that's why i mentioned edits by other people: 1. a move that has the most to do with this article, and 2. a vandalism by another user (never said that u had to do anything with it). I do not know what sense about history exists in the other side of the Aegean, but should i mention that the kemalists never set foot in Constantinople before the treaty of Lausanne?... what u present as Turkish goverment's good will was in fact Entente's "good will" that gave Istanbul to Turkey... In addition, it's better not to fool ourselves: Turkey could not demand the Patriarchate to leave Turkey... That's why they tried to make it leave my closing its institutions and taking its property (and here, we do have multiple violations of the Treaty of Lausanne!). this did not and cannot happen anyways... I have no idea about the "propaganda" to promote the patriachy to a vatican-like status, but if true, nothing would had happened if the turkish government had respected its rights. btw, his Ecumenical title is not disputed by anyone, apart from Turkey. do u want to present sources about this? it's very easy u know... and especially sources from Orthodox or other Christian states, and also Muslims states (Turkey, again and of course, excluded...). sad but true. Hectorian 14:59, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Britannica, Oxford dictionary and literally all anglophone sources refer to the article/entry of the Greek patriarch as "Ecumenical Patriarch". According to WP:NAME wikipedia must follow standard anglophone terminology, whether this is correct or recognised or not is irrelevant. This is WP:POLICY, something non-negotiable. Miskin 15:10, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

No, i've just checked from google, Britannica and Oxford do not have any article as "Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople". Yes, according to wikipolicy this article should be named as "Patriarch of Constantinople" as before. E104421 16:10, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Wrong. See Britannica and Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Sorry, man, but did u really search for it? Hectorian 16:22, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Exactly, all Britannica 2006, New Oxford American dictionary (2nd ed.) and Oxford American Writers Thesaurus are using that term. Besides, the name "Patriarch of Constantinople" is ambiguous, there's also an Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople. Miskin 16:38, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, i searched but as "Ecumenical Patriarchy Constantinople" and got no results in Britannica and Oxford. Do not start accusing at the beginning, but just ask how i have done the search? Regards E104421 16:50, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
"Patriarchate" is the term used. No accusing, but u immediately jumped into conclussions like Yes, according to wikipolicy this article should be named as "Patriarch of Constantinople" as before. Regards Hectorian 16:54, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
How can i know as a physicist and most importantly as an atheist the correct terminology? E104421 16:59, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I do not know... Maybe cause it is written in this article and is the title of another article (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople), in the talk page of which u had just commented? Hectorian 18:12, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Funny, i mixed the difference in the spelling, but i also wrote there as "patriarchy" in my comments. E104421 18:48, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
No problem... Spelling mistakes are common, especially to not native english-speakers;-). Hectorian 20:01, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Minor translation question[edit]

I do not know Turkish nor am I an expert on Turkey but I had a question on the following statement in the intro.

His title is not recognized by the Turkish government, who only recognize him as the spiritual leader of the Greek minority in Turkey, and refer to him only as the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Phanar (Turkish: Fener Rum Patriği).

Is this really the best translation of the Turkish designation (or do the Turks themselves use this English language translation in official discourse)? From my puny knowledge of Turkish my understanding is that this is more correctly translated as

Roman Patriarch of Phanar

Presumably all of you reading this know the history behind the intertwining of the "Roman" and "Greek Orthodox" identities. I realize that in this context the "Roman" designation is intended to refer to "Greek Orthodox" as is common in Turkish but, nevertheless, is this not an inaccurate translation? -- 18:17, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

"Roman" here means "Greek"/"Byzantine", and any other translation would be misleading. 23:22, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

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Attacked in the West[edit]

A phrase in the intro reads, "... the title has been attacked in the West as incompatible with the claims of the see of Rome." This is fatuous. This title has persisted concurrent with the original one church in the Pentarchy. While the bishop of Rome is currently "out of communion," it is Rome that was recognized as "first among equals." The Patriach's title has never been in question. Just his communion (and, reciprocally, that of Rome's).Student7 (talk) 22:48, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree; my understanding of the disputes is that Rome doesn't object to the title, as it couldn't really because the title was confirmed by councils that Rome considers canonical. However, it'd be useful if someone who has access to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church cited as a footnote for this statement could quote what it says on the subject. Then we could figure out if this is a mis-summary of the source, or else a disagreement between sources. --Delirium (talk) 22:51, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I can't give sources, but it is a fact that Rome originally considered the title null but hasn't made a big fuss out of it. The Pope objected to the title only from a distance (the Pope was the only one of the pentarchs who didn't have to be physically present at Councils), and it was because of the 'caesaropapism' inherent to it, as, as has been pointed out 'ecumenical' at that time meant more or less 'imperial' (i.e., the objection was not all because the title was incompatible with papal claims). Influence of state over the patriarchate was very high at the time (5th-11th century), and often the patriarchs were just mercenaries of political factions (not completely unlike what happened in Rome some centuries later). Curiously enough, during that time, the Pope intervened as a keeper of Orthodoxy and protector of other patriarchates against imperial oppression coming from Constantionple. Today, however, the word 'ecumenical' has taken on a very different meaning, and I'd be surprised if Rome finds anything wrong with it. (talk) 23:34, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

"Attacked" sounds somewhat bias. I suggest finding better suitable word (challenged perhaps?). --Paxcoder (talk) 14:41, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
At the very least, perhaps give the background above with footnotes to explain. As Paxcoder says, "...surprised if Rome finds anything wrong with it (today)." Student7 (talk) 18:05, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Unrecognized by Turkey[edit]

An editor has said that Turkey does not recognize the Patriarch. I think that the editor needs to show, rather, that the Patriarch is recognized in some notable way by secular, non-Orthodox governments of the west in order to demonstrate the sort of prejudice he is reporting. A secular government really shouldn't be "recognizing" any religious figure, I would think.

Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised either that the Orthodox suffers prejudice at the hands of an increasingly conservative Islamic government. But let's be sure we have our facts straight and aren't just "spoiling for trouble." Thanks. Student7 (talk) 21:43, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

I am in no way an expert on the subject, but the issue of the patriarchate's recognition, not only as "ecumenical", but as any sort of institution whose authority transcends Turkey's borders, is crucial to its function and future survival. It is also one of the foreign policy issues between Greece and Turkey. For a brief overview, check [15]. Regards, Constantine 23:15, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Impressive reference. I added something to the text. Seemed too tedious to put in the lead. See what you think. Student7 (talk) 23:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, as far as I understand, the non-recognition of the "ecumenical" title is not, per se, a violation of the Treaty of Lausanne, which does not stipulate an exact title of reference. It does however contravene established Ottoman and international practice (other churches and governments routinely use that title, IIRC the US government has issued formal declarations to that effect), as well as the de facto standing and role of the patriarchate within orthodoxy, and is clearly an attempt to limit its prestige and influence to some sort of local minority church. Constantine 10:37, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, your rewording has the advantage of being less controversial. Unlike the reference writer, you appear not to agree with the supposed "Lausanne Treaty" violation. My point was not that the feelings of the Parriarch were hurt or his dominion curtailed, but that Turkey was in apparent direct violation of a signed Treaty. Student7 (talk) 12:58, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

"Turkish authorities"[edit]

It is discomfiting to see that the Patriarch might have been "threatened" by thugs. The article says that the authorities found nothing.

Here is a anecdote about policing in Turkey: Turkey wants to join the EEC. So the EEC sends over folks to monitor police (along with dozens of other govt functions). They ask "can we examine your police reports." The police looks at each other. Huh? What do you do when someone makes a report of something stolen for example? What the police did is go down to the neighborhood where it happened, pick someone at random and beat the living stuffing out of him! When they let him go, they told him, and that will keep happening until you guys straighten out burglars in this neighborhood!

Maybe they have changed, but I would not put much faith in any third world's policing ability. This most certainly includes Turkey in this case. My point is that editors are frequently Western-centric when reporting these things. Reporting what the "authorities" found in this case may be absolutely meaningless. There may have been no investigation at all! Student7 (talk) 23:29, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Oh, BTW, beating up people works. Not a lot of crime. Just not quite the Western way. And "investigations" still means nothing more than likely. Student7 (talk) 23:30, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Actual authority[edit]

Someone needs to put a fine point on what the "spiritual leader" actually does, and what he, as an "administrator" actually does. For most religious leaders this sometimes is not very dynamic. like a business or anything. Does he select priests to become bishops, for example? Does he carve out/merge dioceses? Does he ensure that others do this? A generic job description might already be available for lower-level prelates, that could be linked. Student7 (talk) 13:56, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Turkish state/succession[edit]

recently there was a documentation on cnn about the institution and especially it's future ("the last patriarch?"). according to it, turkish authorities offered to grant citizenship to foreign bishops in case of the election of bartholemeus' succession in order to grant them eligbility in this election. this would be eminent against the background of the demographic decline of the greek poulation in turkey, the impossibility of the formation of new greek orthodox priests in turkey because of the closingof the halki seminar and the succession rules.--Severino (talk) 08:11, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

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Political wars[edit]

This page apparently has been the subject of political flame wars, and of course truth is the casualty. I added a page cite to the U.N. report in the last footnote. However, I didn't expand it as warranted because (1) I don't have the time, and (2) I don't want to get caught in the flame wars. Furthermore, I didn't add the information that I knew was missing and had found elsewhere years ago, about the closed gate of the complex, where the corpse of a patriarch had been hung after his removal during a service and execution in police custody, I believe in the 1930s (which is why I came to this page today, the anniversary of the death of a patriarch in that era). Very sad, and IMHO likely to be repeated if the lessons of history are suppressed by tactics inconsistent with wikipedia's rules.Jweaver28 (talk) 13:44, 7 October 2013 (UTC)