Archbishop Demetrios asks Obama to protect Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

Archbishop Demetrios of America has sent a letter to US President Barack Obama asking the American leader to do everything in his power to ensure the safety of the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios following reports in Turkey of a plot to kill the patriarch, sources in the archbishop’s office said on Saturday.

In his letter, Demetrios asked Obama to “exercize his good offices to ensure the safety of His All Holiness.”

He added that, in the wake of the abduction of two Orthodox clerics in Syria last month, Vartholomaios remains the highest-level Christian religious leader in a Muslim country.

The patriarchate on Friday sought to play down reports of a plot to assassinate Vartholomaios, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, following the arrest of a suspect in Turkey.