The last patriarch?
August 27th, 2010
12:28 PM ET

The last Orthodox patriarch in Turkey?

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the living embodiment of an ancient tradition. From his historic base in Istanbul, Turkey, the 270th Patriarch of Constantinople claims to be the direct successor of the Apostle Andrew.

Today he's considered "first among equals" in the leadership of the Greek Orthodox church, and is the spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians around the world. But few of them are in his own home country.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Greek Orthodox Church

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Fran Drake

    Blessings to Bartholomew, and I pray that the wishes of Mohammad regarding tolerance of Orthodox Christians, and written by his own hand, will be acknowledged by the Turkish government, and the Muslim leaders. Peace of the Lord.

    September 1, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
  2. dave

    I am not sure why the Patriarch hasn't home schooled his successor. Why is it important that the Turkish government approves or not? The sucessor should be determined without their blessing. Simply carry on on the shadows or move the cathedra to a more friendly place.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • Pamela Filutowski

      Dave, it's not that the Orthodox Church needs the "blessing" of the Turkish government. The Turks have made it physically impossible for the Partiarchate to continue in Asia Minor/Turkey where it's been for 1500 years. Turkish Law states that the Patriarchs must be Turkish born, yet the Turks forbid the Orthodox Church to have a seminary to teach Orthodoxy. So with dwindling Greek Orthodox populations (due primarily to persecution–not finances as someone listed above), not only are there few potential future Patriach's to choose from, but none of them can be educated and qualified to take such a position. It's a convenient recipe to completely rid Turkey of the Orthodox Church. And just think, Turkey is supposedly secular and tolerant.

      September 4, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  3. Bell

    "The Turks should be glad they've been allowed to keep Thrace and Anatolia" ohhhhh really Patrick, well why didn't the Greeks take it back from the Turks and so kindly "allowed" them to keep Thrace and Anatolia!! Because they couldn't!!!! The Turks whopped your ass!! And they still would!!! Besides get over it, it's been 100 years seriously!! My God you guys are the true definition of "sore loser"!!
    Btw why didn't this so called documentary ask how many mosques there is in Greece??? What happened to the Mosque they promised to build in Athens in 2006?? Lets investigate that and while we are at it lets do a "follow up" on how many Muslim communities that has survived in Greece, Bulgaria and Armenia?? Would love to see that!! But nooo...as long as it doesn't involve bad mouthing Turks/Muslims it's just not interesting enough right?! So to all you Greeks, Bulgarians, and Armenians out there who's apparently missing back bones...GROW A PAIR and stop wining about something that happened 100 years ago!! Move ON!!

    August 29, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  4. truth

    i am watching the cnn special episode about the last patriarch. how biased, misleading, and carefully crafted commentary. words like "government pressure" and "discrimination" are used every minute. i am sure if a credible and independent authority reviews the report, he would discredit it immediately. but this is cnn, and this report is just another example of its hit and miss journalism. how sad for americans who dont know how to research for the truth because they believe everything that they are spoonfed.

    August 29, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  5. Patrick

    The Turks are not the victims here. The Turks swam in blood when they took this city from the Greeks, and they've been swimming in Greek blood for a thousand years. That the Greeks regained their homeland from the Ottomans was an act of justice, plain and simple. The Turks should be glad they've been allowed to keep Thrace and Anatolia, because by all rights they ought to be driven back to the Steppes they came from.

    August 29, 2010 at 3:58 am |
    • leelee

      Thank you , thank you , thank you for saying it how it is!!! My family was driven out of their homes and beloved island by Turkish prisoners being let loose on their island, to abuse, rape and kill the residence. SO they can take it over and make the island their own, because the residence would not leave willingly.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  6. TO

    YOU idiots don't know about Orthodox keep your mouth shut

    August 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm |


      August 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  7. JJ

    I am going grow that much facial hair. Chicks will dig it.

    August 28, 2010 at 4:28 am |
    • fwat


      Yes, they will dig it out of their soup and wonder if it's one of theirs.

      August 28, 2010 at 6:05 am |
  8. Nova Constantinoupoli

    "Oh Master, when is it time for us to shine again?"

    August 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  9. Reality

    It is called the koranic-driven, Imam-Threat Effect!!!

    August 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  10. Mehmet

    @Mike can you back that up with a proof please? Because in term of GDP per capita, the numbers are 29k vs 13k and considering western Turkey has a higher average around 15-20k your suggestion is highly inaccurate.

    August 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  11. Mike

    One reason the Greek population is decreasing is the fact that most Greeks last 2 decades immmigrating to Greece where per capita income is about 5 times higher than Turkey.

    August 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  12. Jakub

    How can anybody be an "orthodox" Christian when there is nothing consistent or orthodox in the Bible??

    August 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tim

      Because they don't base their beliefs on the Bible. They see scripture as a part of the Christian Tradition–as it as until 1500 with the Classical Reformation.

      They are called "Orthodox" Christians because they have worked very very hard to preserve the faith, as taught by the apostles. The Roman Catholic Church officially broke away from them ~1000 AD.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • GrungeFactor


      I guess that word didn't mean what you thought it meant. LOL

      August 28, 2010 at 4:18 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.