Church sends list to Istanbul

Church of Greece emissaries yesterday handed Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios a list of candidates for the vacant bishopric of Thessaloniki, in what the Greek Church has presented as a conciliatory gesture in the midst of a bitter power struggle between top Orthodox churchmen. There was no official response from the Patriarchate. Together with the list, Greek officials gave the Istanbul-based patriarch a 15-page letter outlining the Church of Greece’s views on the contentious issue of which body should have jurisdiction over territories that became part of Greece nearly a century ago. The Church of Greece says the list is just for the information of the patriarch, who wants a say in all appointments to Greek sees liberated from the Turks after 1912. Matters came to a head after the July 9 death of Thessaloniki’s Bishop Pandeleimon and were further complicated by the August 30 drowning of Bishop Eudokimos of Eleftheroupolis. Meanwhile, Vartholomaios has asked Turkey to let non-Turkish citizens accede to the patriarchal seat.