Friday, December 01, 2006

Turkish spokesman rejects title of Ecumenical Patriarch

SEE THE ARTICLE: Turkish spokesman rejects title of "Ecumenical" Patriarch
Ankara, Dec. 1, 2006 ( - As a November 30 press conference in Ankara, the spokesman for Turkey's foreign-affairs ministry asked Pope Benedict XVI to refrain from using the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" in reference to the Orthodox prelate Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

The ministry spokesman, Namik Tan, explained to reporters that the term "ecumenical," implying a universal role in Church leadership. That implication would violate the principles of secularism that inform the Turkish republic, he argued.
Turkey does not have the legal concept of "separation of church (or mosque) and state", but rather, has a policy of complete political domination of religion by the government. The Turkish government is modeled after the revolutionary French Republic, and does not recognize the international canonical status of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

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