Are their any supporters on this board from the Russian Church or for that matter any Balkans Church nationalists who significantly want to see the Ecumenical Patriarchate drop in spiritual administrative duties? I'm asking this in a spiritual dimension, does anyone believe that the EP hampers or slow down the vision for a future Ecumenical Council?
Significance and weight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Amateur Turkish political commentators and the famous nationalist crowd systematically challenge the ecumenical status of the Phanar Roum Orthodox Patriarchate. The warm welcome the Ecumenical Patriarch receives during his abroad trips and his place in the world protocol for officials are always juicy material for some local papers. Even while we were explaining the virtues of everlasting Turkish tolerance late last year to the visiting Pope, the issue of ecumenical status of the Orthodox Patriarch, only which Turkey repudiates, relapsed again. The issue now has a legal dimension by the absurd decision reached by the Court of Appeals.
It is very hard to understand our sensitivities. If the attribution is objected within the frame of secularism in Turkey, then no matter what we say, the Patriarch is not a civil servant of the Republic of Turkey as the Director of Religious Affairs. If the problem is to stand against EU's requirement on the subject of freedom of belief, it is cardinal to know about the insistence of the U.S. on the issue. If the issue is to scuffle with Greece, in this feud it is Russia and indeed the Patriarch of Moscow who challenges Istanbul's primacy not Athens. As if we are Orthodox and the party of dispute!