Ecumenical Patriach Vartholomeos’ Statement on Liturgy attempt at Hagia Sophia

September 21, 2010

The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos characterized the attempt of a certain group to perform a Divine service in the cathedral of St. Sophia, which now operates as a museum. The Ecumenical Patriarch declared the movement took place “behind our back”.

Speaking to pilgrims from Karditsa village on Monday, the Patriarch advised to regularly visit important Orthodox monuments such as St. Sophia. Referring to this attempt, he said that despite the fact that permission from local authorities is not required, similar actions are not allowed without the blessing of the local Bishop. This means not disregarding the local ecclesiastical authority, which in this case is the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Vartholomeos said that in Orthodoxy there are specific rules to be respected. He offered the example of the Thessaly Cathedral, where the pilgrims are from. He noted that no one could have performed a Divine Liturgy without the local authorities’ permission. He also added that: “the same happens in our city too, which belongs to the archbishop of Istanbul”.

In conclusion, Vartholomeos mentioned the historical Divine Liturgy which took place at the monastery of Panagia Soumela. He claimed in an emotional statement that this is a Divine Liturgy which he would never forget.

Greek Reporter


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