Archbishop Elpidophoros of America discussed the importance of the Halki Seminary and the impact of its closure in an interview with the Dwight Bashir of the United States Commission on International Freedom (USCIRF). The interview was given on the fiftieth anniversary of the seminary’s closure in 1971.
“We lost two generations of priests and clergy and bishops of the Church, who are not educated in the only school that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has in Istanbul,” Elpidophoros stated.
The Archbishop discussed Turkish attitudes towards the seminary, including Turkish official explanations for closing the school as well as an insistence by the Turkish government of a reciprocal gesture by Greece as a pre-condition for its re-opening. He also revealed other difficulties faced by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including the fact that the Patriarchate has no legal identity under Turkish law.