Vartholomaios raises stakes in Church feud

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios has refused to be mollified by a letter in which the Church of Greece paid lip service to its subordination to the Istanbul-based Patriarchate in the administration of over 30 Greek sees. In a letter delivered to Church of Greece officials yesterday, Vartholomaios insisted that Archbishop Christodoulos should send new lists of candidates for the bishoprics of Thessaloniki and Eleftheroupolis – whose bishops died in July and August – expressly marked for his approval. The Greek Church has sent a list for the Thessaloniki see but only for the patriarch’s information, indicating that Vartholomaios has no right to pick the new bishop. The letter ignored Christodoulos’s proposal for a top-level meeting to discuss the crisis. Sees liberated from the Turks after 1912 come under the Patriarchate’s jurisdiction under a 1928 act, which the Greek Church wants revised.