Tuesday May 26, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Orthodox seminary in Turkey awaiting reopening

By Ayse Wieting

Although shut down for more than four decades, one of the Orthodox Church's most pre-eminent seminaries is kept in pristine condition in the hope that it may reopen one day to educate future patriarchs and clergy.

The Theological School of Halki, perched atop a hill on Heybeli Island off Istanbul's coast, closed its doors in 1971 under a Turkish law that required private higher education to be controlled by the state. Since then, classrooms with desks dating back to the 19th century are ready to be used again at a moment's notice while dormitory-style bedrooms await the next class of theological students.

The religious season of Lent began this week and the school isn't any closer to reopening. But Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, whose first name means "he who brings hope," will be prepared if his prayers are answered.

"If the decision is taken today, tomorrow I am ready to host the first class," said Lambriniadis, who is in charge of the monastery and the seminary on Heybeli.

Since coming to power in 2002, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has enacted reforms to improve the rights of ethnic and religious groups in Turkey. Despite pressure from the US and the European Union, the status of the seminary remains unsettled.

Erdogan has said Halki's reopening depends on reciprocal measures from neighboring Greece that would improve the rights of Muslims there.

"We have two mosques in Athens," Erdogan has said. "They (Greece) have promised us many times (to open the mosques to worship.) It has been on the agenda for 10 years. Unfortunately, we're still being strung along."

The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul dates from the Orthodox Greek Byzantine Empire, which collapsed when the Muslim Ottoman Turks conquered the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople, today's Istanbul, in 1453.

The Halki seminary, founded in 1844, was the training center for many Orthodox leaders, including current Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of more than 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

His patriarchate is considered to be the center of the Orthodox Christian Church and yet the church can't train its own clergy, said Istanbul-born Lambriniadis, 46, who was too young to make it to Halki and was forced to study to join the clergy in a Greek seminary. [AP]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday March 6, 2014 (10:59)  
Experts ring alarm bells over illegal pesticides´ effect on bee populations
Art group helps keep Greek culture alive in Alexandria, Egypt
America’s Greeks rock it Myconos-style in Florida
Plans to develop former royal estate back on table
Lanthimos´s The Lobster wins Jury Prize at Cannes
The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, has won the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. French film Dheepan won the top Palme d'Or prize for director Jacques Audiard at the 68...
Greece´s last film poster painter soldiers on
Far from the limelight of Cannes, Greece's last painter of film posters toils away in a little garden studio to deliver his latest commission. Vassilis Dimitriou is 80 years old, works alone...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Euro traders shed last bit of optimism from Greek February deal
2. Greece returns to aid talks as Varoufakis blames creditors
3. More migrants reach Greece, approaching 1,200 in 2 days
4. Varoufakis says Greece committed to reforms, rules out more austerity
5. Euro falls to four-week low as Greece feadlock spurs volatility
6. IMF´s Blanchard says Greek budget proposals not enough
more news
Today
This Week
1. Overhaul planned for car taxation
2. Here’s a Greek business that’s booming: Making test-tube babies
3. Euro falls to four-week low as Greece feadlock spurs volatility
4. IMF's Blanchard says Greek budget proposals not enough
5. Time running out for Greece, ESM head Regling says
6. Varoufakis says Greece committed to reforms, rules out more austerity
Today
This Week
1. Conspiracy madness
2. National self-awareness put to the test
3. Albanian demarche raises concerns about possible territorial claims over Greece
4. Why Greece won't hold referendum on reforms
5. Greek endgame nears for Tsipras as bank collateral hits buffers
6. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.