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Author Topic: A proposal for the return of Hagia Sophia  (Read 8946 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 30, 2009, 09:16:28 AM »

So we all know the backstory of Hagia Sophia. I was thinking about it the other day, and it hit me for a way for both sides to compromise: if the Turks gave it back to the Orthodox, but in return, the Orthodox would agree to only conduct services in it in Turkish.

This would satisfy both sides' ostensible goals, while also making both the Orthodox and the Turks put their money where their mouth is. The modern Turkish state is founded on the basis of secularism and Turkishness, not Islam, and one reason why Orthodoxy is so disliked by the Turkish government is because it is seen as foreign and non-Turkish. (Witness the Turkish government's toleration of Turkish (semi-Muslim) Alevis, and their persecution of Muslim (non-Turkish) Kurds.) If the Turkish government is serious about not being Islamic (or at least not being seen as Islamic), then they should theoretically have no problem with Christian services in Turkish being held in Hagia Sophia, thus showing that they do not favor Islam but Turkishness.

The Orthodox would obviously get back Hagia Sophia and with it a revival of the Orthodox presence in Turkey, but would also have to abandon the remnants of the Megali Idea once and for all, admit that Christ, not Hellenism, is the foundation of Orthodoxy, and, after almost 600 years, finally get serious about evangelizing the Turks.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 10:57:09 AM »

The Patriarchate & the Rum of Constantinople haven't actually been supporters of the Megali Idea, simply because the Megali Idea has done nothing but hurt the Orthodox in Turkey.

Beyond that point, I think the proposal is good and sound - if we want Agia Sophia, and not only to possess but to fill with Orthodox people, then it's time to conduct services in Turkish there, preach the gospel in Turkish, and convert the locals (or, in some cases, re-convert after many generations).
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 11:14:01 AM »

A nice thought, but Kemalism expressed its thoughts on this when it expelled the Karamanli Turkish Orthodox, hundreds of thousands of them.

Btw, there is heavy immigration of the Turkish Gaugaz Orthodox to the Turkish Republic.
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 01:03:15 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ever been translated into Turkish?  Has it ever been celebrated in Turkish in spite of the history?
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 01:07:29 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ever been translated into Turkish?  Has it ever been celebrated in Turkish in spite of the history?

I'm not sure.  When I was in Constantinople, all the Orthodox spoke Turkish, learned Turkish in school (even in the Orthodox schools), but not to us (knowing that we didn't).  Our tour guide spoke to us in Greek, Patriarch in English, the deacons in English (for the most part).
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 01:18:54 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ever been translated into Turkish?  Has it ever been celebrated in Turkish in spite of the history?

I'm not sure.

To both questions?  How about is there a Bible translation in Turkish?  I couldn't imagine the Turkish government not allowing a Divine Liturgy to be celebrated in Turkish.   Huh

When I was in Constantinople, all the Orthodox spoke Turkish, learned Turkish in school (even in the Orthodox schools), but not to us (knowing that we didn't).  Our tour guide spoke to us in Greek, Patriarch in English, the deacons in English (for the most part).

Modern Turkish is a latinized language; Translation couldn't be that difficult or time consuming.   Wink
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 03:18:36 PM »

Quote
Has the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ever been translated into Turkish?  Has it ever been celebrated in Turkish in spite of the history?

Yes. The .mp3 is a recording (haven't had a chance to listen to it yet), but apparently commemorates Pat. Ignatius of Antioch, and the link entitled "Altin Ağιzlι Yuhanna'nιn Kutsal Ayin Metni" has the text of the Liturgy.

Quote
How about is there a Bible translation in Turkish?

Yes, though obviously no Orthodox ones, to my knowledge.

Quote
Modern Turkish is a latinized language; Translation couldn't be that difficult or time consuming. 

Only in that it uses the Latin alphabet. It's still only about as close to Greek as Choctaw is.
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 03:29:08 PM »

I couldn't imagine the Turkish government not allowing a Divine Liturgy to be celebrated in Turkish.   Huh

Most countries couldn't imagine persecuting their fully legal citizens, but Turkey's an old pro at defying our imagination.
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 03:55:33 PM »

Is it legal for the Orthodox to proselytize in Turkey?
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 03:56:06 PM »

I couldn't imagine the Turkish government not allowing a Divine Liturgy to be celebrated in Turkish.   Huh

Most countries couldn't imagine persecuting their fully legal citizens, but Turkey's an old pro at defying our imagination.

I didn't recall any of the treaties forbidding the recitation of the Divine Liturgy in modern Turkish.   Wink
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2009, 03:56:46 PM »

Is it legal for the Orthodox to proselytize in Turkey?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes no.  I had a post which said the people should recite the Christ is Risen, Truly He is Risen in Turkish for I can't imagine that being illegal in modern Turkey.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 06:23:29 PM »

Modern Turkish is a latinized language; Translation couldn't be that difficult or time consuming.   Wink
Turkish does use the Latin alphabet but any similarity to Latin ends there. Turkish words are very easy to pronounce as nearly all characters never alter their sound. However, it is very difficult to put together a word, because Turkish words are built around a core and all of qualifying snippets are inserted at the beginning, middle or end of the word. For example, Turks would use just one word for the English phrase "I may not have been able to work, " where "work" is the core and all the others fit all around it.
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2009, 07:52:14 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy been translated to Esperanto, an international language?  Perhaps that could be used in Turkey.

This language paradox is bordering on the absurd.   Shocked
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 08:34:40 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy been translated to Esperanto, an international language?  Perhaps that could be used in Turkey.

This language paradox is bordering on the absurd.   Shocked

The international lanugages of Spanish, English, French, Russian, Italian, Arabic, and German all have translations of the Liturgy.  Oh, and there's Greek (oops!).
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 09:06:05 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ever been translated into Turkish?  Has it ever been celebrated in Turkish in spite of the history?

The liturgical books were translated long ago in Turkish for the Karmanlis, the Orthodox Turks in Central Anatolia.  The Czar imported them for use of the Gaugaz, a Turkish Orthodox people in what was then ruled by him in Bessarabia.
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2009, 09:20:10 PM »

Modern Turkish is a latinized language; Translation couldn't be that difficult or time consuming.   Wink
Turkish does use the Latin alphabet but any similarity to Latin ends there. Turkish words are very easy to pronounce as nearly all characters never alter their sound. However, it is very difficult to put together a word, because Turkish words are built around a core and all of qualifying snippets are inserted at the beginning, middle or end of the word. For example, Turks would use just one word for the English phrase "I may not have been able to work, " where "work" is the core and all the others fit all around it.

It is kind of rare to create words or phrases like that, although it is theoretically possible.  Once you get over the first mental hurdles of SOV, postpositions and very different ways to express a few basic ideas (for example - in Kyrgyz - , İtim barım - dogmy haveI = I have a dog) Turkic languages are fairly easy to learn.  In Kyrgyz the only grammatical exception that I can think of is the plural of bala (child) is baldar rather than balalar.  
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2009, 10:16:35 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy been translated to Esperanto, an international language?  Perhaps that could be used in Turkey.

This language paradox is bordering on the absurd.   Shocked

The international lanugages of Spanish, English, French, Russian, Italian, Arabic, and German all have translations of the Liturgy.  Oh, and there's Greek (oops!).

Let's not forget, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Philipino, Malay 

But not Esperanto.   Wink
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2009, 10:17:45 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ever been translated into Turkish?  Has it ever been celebrated in Turkish in spite of the history?

The liturgical books were translated long ago in Turkish for the Karmanlis, the Orthodox Turks in Central Anatolia.  The Czar imported them for use of the Gaugaz, a Turkish Orthodox people in what was then ruled by him in Bessarabia.

Would this be modern Turkish or Turkish with an Arabic (or even Cyrillic) script?   Huh
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2009, 10:32:32 PM »

Has the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom ever been translated into Turkish?  Has it ever been celebrated in Turkish in spite of the history?

The liturgical books were translated long ago in Turkish for the Karmanlis, the Orthodox Turks in Central Anatolia.  The Czar imported them for use of the Gaugaz, a Turkish Orthodox people in what was then ruled by him in Bessarabia.

Would this be modern Turkish or Turkish with an Arabic (or even Cyrillic) script?   Huh

Greek script. Shocked
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« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2009, 01:09:17 AM »

Let's not forget, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Philipino, Malay 

As I understand it, the predominant native language of the Philippines is Tagalog. There are also many, many other languages spoken in that land. There is no language I know of called Filipino.

Having said that, I can add Bahasa (the dominant language of Indonesia) as a liturgical language.
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« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2009, 01:47:51 AM »

^ At least you knew what I intended.   Smiley

I apologize if I offended any Filipinos with my momentary ignorance.   angel
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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2009, 02:38:59 AM »

^ At least you knew what I intended.   Smiley

I apologize if I offended any Filipinos with my momentary ignorance.   angel

Easy enough mistake to make, SolEX01. I have several Filipino friends, and I'm sure they'd simply laugh and shrug it off.  Grin
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« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2009, 03:53:48 AM »

The Turks and their government hate us too much.  Chanting the Liturgy in Turkish would be of no concern to them.

Their oppression of the remaining Orthodox community in Istanbul of 2,000 blessed souls (their population totaled 70,000 prior to the Pogrom of September, 1955), doesn't stop their uncivilized treatment of the Patriarchate, robbing it of its properties; boycotting President Bush's reception at the American Embassy which he held to honor Patriarch Bartholomew, because the invitation referred to him by his title since the late 6th century, "Ecumenical Patriarch;" making elderly Americans walk over a mile to attend the Liturgy at The Phanar when Pope Benedict attended just two years ago; prohibiting the Istanbul faithful from attending that Patriarchal Liturgy; disconnecting electrical equipment that would have transmitted that Patriarchal Liturgy; and too much more.  I'll call them uncivilized, so that I don't use a swear word to characterize their treatment of the Patriarchate, the remnant church communities, and the faithful.
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« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2009, 08:13:49 AM »

Quote
There is no language I know of called Filipino.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filipino_language
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« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2009, 01:21:51 PM »

Quote
There is no language I know of called Filipino.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filipino_language

Tagalog was renamed Filipino in the 1930's.

LBK, I stand corrected.   Wink
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« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2009, 11:55:35 AM »

Dr. John Silber's Passion for Peace can be translated into modern Turkish but not the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.  A lot of Turks matriculated from Dr. Silber's former employer, Boston University....

http://www.patriarchate.org/patriarch/passion-for-peace/tr?lang=tr
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2010, 05:09:50 AM »

Dear Christian brothers,

of course I have signed the petition and I think the fact that Greek-Americans are holding THE FIRST HOLY MASS EVER SINCE 1453 is a step in the right way, the only right way to proceed.

It will be a GOOD thing for the Turkish state to give back Hagia Sophia, the Analog to St. Peter´s Cathedral of the Orthodox back to Seat of the Ecoumenical Orthodox Church residing in Instanbul!  I want to see Turkey as a respectful, progressive and positive neighboring country to Greece, respecting its neighbors and the human rights of all peoples and religious communities of this world. That is indispensably connected with recognizing the Ecoum. Pathrarch and the natural connection of Hagia Sophia as the Central Church of the Turkish-residing Orthodox Church Seat.

I think tOm-dR gives the most accurate description of the current state of play of political forces in Turkey. Turkey may be more modern in political thinking and slightly more secular than the other Muslim States of the Near East, but it remains nevertheless very far away from being democratic and respecting civil rights enough to be any near a candidacy for EU.

Turkey, everybody among the EU members agree, has to still do a lot of work.  And that includes

1) recognizingALL of its own Genocides, (currently three of them known, no current knowledge of more, perhaps so):  Sweden has just recongnized three Genocides commited by Turkey, against the Armenians, the Pontian Greeks and the Assyrians

2) granting freedom of religion, i.e. recognizing ALL religions and allowing its people to worship their religion of choice freely. If this basic right of a civilized state is acquired, then it is self-understood, that

         - the Priest School of Chalki will be recognized as part of the residing Orthodox   
           Central Headquarters within Turkey (in Instanbul) and the building immediately   
           returned to the Ecoumenical Patriarchate to be reopened.

         - the Ecoumenical Patriarch will be recognized as the slightly superior Head of the Orthodox World and his seat in the Holy Orthodox Church Headquarters in Constantinople (in respected and recognized Ecoumenical terms), will be respected, not prosecuted and even protected by the Turkish state. The Ecoumenical Patriarch is recognized as the Head of the Orthodox by almost 100% of the countries and governments of this world except Turkey and a few Turkish-affiliated states.

        -  the Greek Orthodox Churches will be recognized as places of worship of a valid religion for the Turkish state other than Islam and as properties will be returned to the Patriarchate with the Freedom to be used unrestrainedly as the jurisdiction of the Ecoum. Patriarchate decides is best. They will be no more abandoned and previously looted ruins recently called "icon museums", that are left deteriorate and collect money for a state that does not recognize other religions.  Certainly, all the other Orthodox churches, i.e. the Armenian or Assyrian or other will be returned to their respective religious communities and will be allowed to be used in the fashion that these communities are free to decide to use and renovate in an appropriate manner.

      -  Hagia Sophia will be returned to the Ecoumenical Patriarchate as the Head Church and Site of worship of the Orthodox Church. Liturgy will be held in the original fashion, as a recognized world religious community and - of course - in the original language. 

When you travel to the United States, or any civilized state of the EU and visit an Armenian church, a Greek church, a Russian Church, an Egyptian Coptic church or even a mosque by any muslim community, the services are heald in the original fashion of the respective religious tradition, be it Coptic Egyptian, or Russian or Arabic, with no repression to hold services in the local language "of the respective sovereign state" where the church may be in.

             - once other religions are recognized in Turkey, as well as the freedom to choose your own faith as a Turkish citizen (of any origin, be it Greek, Curdish, Jewish, Armenian or all else), then the other religious communities can even build new churches in Turkey!  Let´s take the example of the German Protestant Community in Antalya:  There are enough community members living long-term there to have their own priest, who has also come from GErmany to live there and hold services.  However as Turkey does not recognize other religions, the Protestant Church Community has the status of a ...club in Turkey. The religious services are just tolerated as a club play and are held in some house blessed by the priest to become a church in Christian terms.

On the other side Turkish Muslim communities in the EU press to build more mosques, while in their own country we Christians can not build a church and the Greek Orthodox churches are ruins called museums.


Turkey may be a sovereign state, as is also Myanmar or Burma, but it can choose what kind of state it wants to be.  Turkey has an obligation as well to its own citizens, who wish an EU citizenship, as to the rest of the world, to become a respectful and progressive free state of this world respecting human rights, which include freedom of religion.

It is a characteristic of a civilized state of this world, e.g. Sweden, Germany or the Netherlands, or even Greece, to posess the ripeness of its society to recognize the rights of its polyethnic communities and other groups to exercise their freedom of faith and opinion unrestrainedly without seeing that as a danger to the state, but instead as a strength of a  civilized state.

It is the obligation of Turkey to fulfill the above criteria for acquiring membership immediately, not just some day. Also we, should not wait, but demand that all of the criteria are fullfilled as soon as possible, at best today or tomorrow.  That way Turkey will show that it has acquired the ripeness of thinking to be included among the civilized states of the world.
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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2010, 05:18:25 AM »


of course I have signed the petition and I think the fact that Greek-Americans are holding THE FIRST HOLY MASS EVER SINCE 1453 is a step in the right way, the only right way to proceed.


An Orthodox  priest may not serve in the diocese of any bishop without that bishop's permission and upon the bishop's antimension.

Do we know which priest has been authorised by the Patriarch to perfom this Service?

But I see it is called a "Holy Mass"  - so I imagine that it won't be an Orthodox priest anyway but a Roman Catholic priest.  It's kind of a chilling thought that the first eucharistic service in Aghia Sophia for 600 years is going to be a Roman Catholic Mass.
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« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2010, 11:23:34 AM »

I sincerely hope it won't be a Roman Catholic Mass...
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« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2010, 11:34:54 AM »


of course I have signed the petition and I think the fact that Greek-Americans are holding THE FIRST HOLY MASS EVER SINCE 1453 is a step in the right way, the only right way to proceed.


An Orthodox  priest may not serve in the diocese of any bishop without that bishop's permission and upon the bishop's antimension.

Do we know which priest has been authorised by the Patriarch to perfom this Service?

But I see it is called a "Holy Mass"  - so I imagine that it won't be an Orthodox priest anyway but a Roman Catholic priest.  It's kind of a chilling thought that the first eucharistic service in Aghia Sophia for 600 years is going to be a Roman Catholic Mass.

I would think it's called "Holy Mass" because that term is familiar to more people than "Divine Liturgy" and any petition which seeks to get the most signatories is going to use the most familiar language as possible.
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« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2010, 12:05:35 PM »


of course I have signed the petition and I think the fact that Greek-Americans are holding THE FIRST HOLY MASS EVER SINCE 1453 is a step in the right way, the only right way to proceed.


An Orthodox  priest may not serve in the diocese of any bishop without that bishop's permission and upon the bishop's antimension.

Do we know which priest has been authorised by the Patriarch to perfom this Service?

But I see it is called a "Holy Mass"  - so I imagine that it won't be an Orthodox priest anyway but a Roman Catholic priest.  It's kind of a chilling thought that the first eucharistic service in Aghia Sophia for 600 years is going to be a Roman Catholic Mass.

The last once was.

I'm not sure if you were banned yet, Father, but on CAF there was a lively debate on the proposition that Hagia Sophia had to be given to the Vatican as it was a Cathedral of a sui juris Eastern church in submission to the Vatican at the time of the conquest.

I do, however, agree that Schultz has the right explanation.  Many Orthodox who aren't accustomed to using English when it comes to Church matters, in the US often say "mass" for DL.  We have plenty of Churches which are dedicated to the Dormition in Greek but the Assumption in English.
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« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2010, 12:14:55 PM »

I thought that it was indeed Latin, but then it went back Orthodox before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople... Therefore the last service would have been Orthodox.
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« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2010, 01:30:29 PM »

I thought that it was indeed Latin, but then it went back Orthodox before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople... Therefore the last service would have been Orthodox.
Constantinople submitted to the Vatican at Florence (the reason why Russia became autocephalous). Only after the conquest did she return to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2010, 05:09:19 PM »


of course I have signed the petition and I think the fact that Greek-Americans are holding THE FIRST HOLY MASS EVER SINCE 1453 is a step in the right way, the only right way to proceed.


An Orthodox  priest may not serve in the diocese of any bishop without that bishop's permission and upon the bishop's antimension.

Do we know which priest has been authorised by the Patriarch to perfom this Service?

But I see it is called a "Holy Mass"  - so I imagine that it won't be an Orthodox priest anyway but a Roman Catholic priest.  It's kind of a chilling thought that the first eucharistic service in Aghia Sophia for 600 years is going to be a Roman Catholic Mass.

Apparently, Roman Catholics can perform Mass anywhere, without antimension, without an altar and without permission from a Bishop.  The Turkish authorities most likely can't stop foreigners from having a Roman Catholic Mass inside a public place like a museum.  The worst the authorities can do is close the museum and this "movement" holds Mass in a public area.

This restore Haghia Sophia "movement" is a straw man (or perhaps a movement of revenge).  There are Greek-Americans who have gone over to Roman Catholicism (not Greek Rite Catholicism) because of issues individuals experienced with Greek Orthodox Priests and/or Hierarchs usually when someone wanted to marry a Roman Catholic spouse or had children out of wedlock with Roman Catholic persons.

It is difficult to find a biography of Chris Spirou on-line even though he ran for NH Governor in 1984.  One can read the "About Us" section of the Hellenic American Union, which Chris Spirou leads.  There are no references to religion in the document and no references to Chris Spirou's biography.
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« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2010, 09:52:18 PM »

I thought that it was indeed Latin, but then it went back Orthodox before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople... Therefore the last service would have been Orthodox.
Constantinople submitted to the Vatican at Florence (the reason why Russia became autocephalous). Only after the conquest did she return to Orthodoxy.
This was in the 1440s, Constantinople didn't fall until 1453, 10 years later. I was told that when news of the so-called union reached Constantinople, that the people rioted. How is it, that the main Church of Constantinople was Latin when the people themselves were all Orthodox? Were the Roman Catholics the only ones using the Church? Or was it still the Orthodox people using it?
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« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2010, 10:25:08 PM »

I thought that it was indeed Latin, but then it went back Orthodox before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople... Therefore the last service would have been Orthodox.
Constantinople submitted to the Vatican at Florence (the reason why Russia became autocephalous). Only after the conquest did she return to Orthodoxy.
This was in the 1440s, Constantinople didn't fall until 1453, 10 years later. I was told that when news of the so-called union reached Constantinople, that the people rioted. How is it, that the main Church of Constantinople was Latin when the people themselves were all Orthodox?

Because the emperor favored survival of his transitory empire than the eternal purity of the Orthodox Faith, and he forced that choice on his patriarch.

Florence, Brest, Uzhhorod, Alba Iulia,......all the same.

Quote
Were the Roman Catholics the only ones using the Church? Or was it still the Orthodox people using it?
The Vatican's mininons were insisting the Orthodox be barred from it.
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« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2010, 11:11:12 AM »

Quote
This was in the 1440s, Constantinople didn't fall until 1453, 10 years later. I was told that when news of the so-called union reached Constantinople, that the people rioted. How is it, that the main Church of Constantinople was Latin when the people themselves were all Orthodox?

I remember reading accounts that, leading up to the siege, the Hagia Sophia and other major temples were practically empty during services, because so many people refused to support the Florence union. Of course, when things got more desperate in the city, people started filling it up again.
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« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2010, 11:14:10 AM »

Does anyone actually speak Esperanto, who isn't part of some Esperanto club?
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« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2010, 02:38:11 PM »

It seems to me that proselytism is not formally illegal in Turkey. Wearing clerical garb in public is illegal though (also for Muslim imams).
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