Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios plays down reports of assassination plot

The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate on Friday attempted to play down reports of a plot to assassinate Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, as Turkish authorities made an arrest.

“The patriarch is not taking this too seriously. He doesn’t believe there is a serious threat,” Patriarchate spokesperson Dositheos Anagnostopoulos told Reuters.

Turkey’s chief public prosecutor is investigating an anonymous letter claiming that three people – including the suspect that has been arrested – had been planning to kill Vartholomaios on May 29.

It is thought that Vartholomaios has been the target of at least two assassination plots in the past.