NEWS

Biden reiterates call for Halki reopening

Just a few hours before visiting Athens, US Vice President Joe Byden called on Ankara to reopen the Halki Seminary, off the coast of Istanbul.

In the course of his visit to Turkey on Saturday, Biden reiterated his and Preisdent Obama?s earlier calls for Ankara to allow the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul to operate the theological school again after it was closed in 1971.

He went on to urge the Turkish government to improve fundamental human rights, before his visit meeting with Patriarch Vartholomaios.

The seminary?s reopening has been a long-standing demand by Greece and the Patriarchate, although there also are people who say that if it opened it would be fully controlled by the Turkish government, and it might be better if a seminary were to open within the Greek borders to serve as fertile ground for the people who will staff the Patriarchate in the future.