Patriarch Bartholomeos II under Investigation byTurkishProsecutors, Threatened with Jail for Statements
about Ecumenical Nature of Patriarchate

Ecumenical Patriarch under investigation by Turkish prosecutors

August 24, 2007 (New Anatolian wire services)--Barholomeos II [sic], the patriarch [sic] of the Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey, has been called on to give a statement to prosecutors on comments he made declaring that the patriarchy had ecumenical status.

Bujidar Cipof, a former member of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church's board of directors in Turkey, lodged a complaint with the office of the prosecutor in the Istanbul district of Beyoglu, claiming that Barholomeos II [sic] had breached article 219 of the Turkish Criminal Code.

The article covers the crime of 'abusing religious services'.

The complaint was based on comments made by the patriarch [sic] recently, who said that "the patriarchy has been ecumenical since the 6th century. The entire world knows this historical title".

Turkey does not accept that the Greek Orthodox patriarch [sic] has ecumenical status, only that he is the head of the church in Turkey.

Under article 219, if found guilty, Barholomeos [sic] could be fined and/or be imprisoned for a term of between one month and one year."

[edd: Use of the term "sic" by Turkish wire services has been preserved in this press release as issued.]

(Posting date 30 September 2007)

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