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Author Topic: Hagia Sophia, a hypothetical situation...  (Read 1478 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: January 11, 2013, 05:24:15 PM »

With the history of the Turkish government, I doubt this would actually happen anytime, but I wanted to present a hypothetical situation.

Hagia Sophia is a museum, and probably will remain so for a long time. But what if the Turkish government decided that it could be used at certain times of the year?

For example, say they tell the Patriarchate that it can hold a service there once a year, possibly just the Paschal Liturgy. But, at the same time, they allow Muslims to hold prayer services there during Ramadan.

It is a big IF and a very unlikely hypothetical situation, but if this situation indeed arose, should we accept?

Or, say that they allow the building to be "rented" out for certain events, such as concerts or religious services, should we jump at the opportunity to celebrate Pascha in Hagia Sophia, even if other religious services and concerts are being held there, or even if we have to pay to worship there and even though the Islamic items and furnishings will remain?
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 06:11:28 PM »

Just my rather uneducated thoughts on the matter... I don't think it'd be workable. Any time the muslims (to use one of your examples) used it, before the Orthodox could use it again it'd have to be reconsecrated (or whatever the proper term is), wouldn't it? Not speaking practically, but just in terms of propriety, that doesn't seem like an acceptable way of going about things.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 06:11:43 PM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 06:16:46 PM »

Just my rather uneducated thoughts on the matter... I don't think it'd be workable. Any time the muslims (to use one of your examples) used it, before the Orthodox could use it again it'd have to be reconsecrated (or whatever the proper term is), wouldn't it? Not speaking practically, but just in terms of propriety, that doesn't seem like an acceptable way of going about things.

There are many churches or groups who worship(ed) in places also used by other religions, such as in a hall in a university campus.

I think all that matters is the antimensions since any orthodox furnishings would have to be removed from the site after it was finished, therefore, no permanent altar.
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 06:27:10 PM »

I cannot be done for two reasons.

1. Muslims abhor icons and cannot worship in their presence. Any time that they have used a church, they destroyed, whitewashed or plastered over the icons.

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it. Your observation: "There are many churches or groups who worship(ed) in places also used by other religions, such as in a hall in a university campus" does not apply in this instance.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 06:27:57 PM »

And what of the Icons? They would have to be plastered over everytime the Muslims would want to pray.

I agree with Asteriktos, the logistics just wouldn't add up.
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 06:40:14 PM »

It would be fascinating to see people's reaction if people do indeed come out of the walls to complete the last Liturgy.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 07:09:33 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but according to that fab Muslim fellow who sometimes posts on here, isn't it true that some Muslims hold a prophecy that Hagia Sophia would be returned to us or something? If that's the case, then maybe like the Jews and Evangelicals, we'll get our own group of Muslim lapdogs who want to return Hagia Sophia to us because of some weird end-times prophecy Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 07:15:46 PM »

To whom should the Hagia Sophia be returned? To the muslims, who worshipped in it for centuries? To the (Eastern) Catholics, from whom it was stripped by Mehmet II? To the Orthodox, because they too used it for a long time? To the Greek government, because the Greeks built it?

So many choices...
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 07:18:01 PM »

To whom should the Hagia Sophia be returned? To the muslims, who worshipped in it for centuries? To the (Eastern) Catholics, from whom it was stripped by Mehmet II? To the Orthodox, because they too used it for a long time? To the Greek government, because the Greeks built it?

So many choices...

If it goes to the Greek government, then it will be returned to the Orthodox most likely.
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 07:19:56 PM »

To whom should the Hagia Sophia be returned? To the muslims, who worshipped in it for centuries? To the (Eastern) Catholics, from whom it was stripped by Mehmet II? To the Orthodox, because they too used it for a long time? To the Greek government, because the Greeks built it?

So many choices...

If it goes to the Greek government, then it will be returned to the Orthodox most likely.

Most likely they'll sell it to the highest bidder to pay their enormous debts  Grin
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 07:20:39 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 07:23:32 PM »

To whom should the Hagia Sophia be returned? To the muslims, who worshipped in it for centuries? To the (Eastern) Catholics, from whom it was stripped by Mehmet II? To the Orthodox, because they too used it for a long time? To the Greek government, because the Greeks built it?

So many choices...

Technically, it was never a possession of "Eastern Catholics" as it was used by both the Orthodox and the unionists up to the time of the Turkish takeover. It was also not built by Greeks, but by Eastern Romans. The most logical choice would be the Ecumenical Patriarch, since it was his cathedra.
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 07:27:00 PM »

It was also not built by Greeks, but by Eastern Romans.

LOL.

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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 07:29:09 PM »

Well in this hypothetical scenario, the use of the church would then be treated as if we're using a public space that we rent, rather than a real church that is consecrated for sacred use.  So we don't have to consecrate it again and again and just perform whatever ritual we do when we do hold Liturgy in an open public field or stadium or whatever.

We shouldn't look at it as a proper church from this standpoint because technically its just a public building that we're renting, even though historically it is a church.  We can't then place icons on the walls and we'd probably have to use a portable iconostas.
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2013, 08:15:33 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but according to that fab Muslim fellow who sometimes posts on here, isn't it true that some Muslims hold a prophecy that Hagia Sophia would be returned to us or something? If that's the case, then maybe like the Jews and Evangelicals, we'll get our own group of Muslim lapdogs who want to return Hagia Sophia to us because of some weird end-times prophecy Smiley
We'd have to create a huge secular movement around it, focus half the world's Orthodox on it, lobby Muslim governments, and just start sending tons of Greek and Russian immigrants over. And in the end the Lord might be upset we are wasting our time by focusing our religion on physical land.
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2013, 08:19:20 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but according to that fab Muslim fellow who sometimes posts on here, isn't it true that some Muslims hold a prophecy that Hagia Sophia would be returned to us or something? If that's the case, then maybe like the Jews and Evangelicals, we'll get our own group of Muslim lapdogs who want to return Hagia Sophia to us because of some weird end-times prophecy Smiley
We'd have to create a huge secular movement around it, focus half the world's Orthodox on it, lobby Muslim governments, and just start sending tons of Greek and Russian immigrants over. And in the end the Lord might be upset we are wasting our time instead of sending them to Cyprus.   Cheesy

Of we can just build a brand new grand church somewhere, like in Canada Wink
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2013, 08:21:53 PM »

We'd have to create a huge secular movement around it, focus half the world's Orthodox on it, lobby Muslim governments, and just start sending tons of Greek and Russian immigrants over. And in the end the Lord might be upset we are wasting our time instead of sending them to Cyprus.   Cheesy

Of we can just build a brand new grand church somewhere, like in Canada Wink
Or Bearsville, NY

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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2013, 08:22:37 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but according to that fab Muslim fellow who sometimes posts on here, isn't it true that some Muslims hold a prophecy that Hagia Sophia would be returned to us or something? If that's the case, then maybe like the Jews and Evangelicals, we'll get our own group of Muslim lapdogs who want to return Hagia Sophia to us because of some weird end-times prophecy Smiley
We'd have to create a huge secular movement around it, focus half the world's Orthodox on it, lobby Muslim governments, and just start sending tons of Greek and Russian immigrants over. And in the end the Lord might be upset we are wasting our time instead of sending them to Cyprus.   Cheesy

Of we can just build a brand new grand church somewhere, like in Canada Wink

Or New York?  angel

EDIT--Doh! You beat me to it!
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2013, 08:26:54 PM »

With the history of the Turkish government, I doubt this would actually happen anytime, but I wanted to present a hypothetical situation.

Hagia Sophia is a museum, and probably will remain so for a long time. But what if the Turkish government decided that it could be used at certain times of the year?

For example, say they tell the Patriarchate that it can hold a service there once a year, possibly just the Paschal Liturgy. But, at the same time, they allow Muslims to hold prayer services there during Ramadan.

It is a big IF and a very unlikely hypothetical situation, but if this situation indeed arose, should we accept?

Or, say that they allow the building to be "rented" out for certain events, such as concerts or religious services, should we jump at the opportunity to celebrate Pascha in Hagia Sophia, even if other religious services and concerts are being held there, or even if we have to pay to worship there and even though the Islamic items and furnishings will remain?
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2013, 08:37:09 PM »

The suplecher has a lot of fist fights during pascha....

OO & EO's sometimes duke it out....

Crossing doesn't mix... then there's the EO needing to re-consecrate...
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2013, 08:51:27 PM »

No we would not need to reconsecrate. It wouldn't be a church with an altar and therefore no need to consecrate. Our Priests can serve Divine Liturgy in the wilderness, as long as they have the antimension.
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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2013, 08:52:58 PM »

No we would not need to reconsecrate. It wouldn't be a church with an altar and therefore no need to consecrate. Our Priests can serve Divine Liturgy in the wilderness, as long as they have the antimension.

Doing this when you are a mission and have a few people is one thing, but to do it in hagia sophia? and then to remove everything so other religions can use it? It just doesn't seem right...
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2013, 08:56:31 PM »

No we would not need to reconsecrate. It wouldn't be a church with an altar and therefore no need to consecrate. Our Priests can serve Divine Liturgy in the wilderness, as long as they have the antimension.

Doing this when you are a mission and have a few people is one thing, but to do it in hagia sophia? and then to remove everything so other religions can use it? It just doesn't seem right...

Well, like I mentioned, in this hypothetical scenario we would treat it as if it is a stadium we rent every year so that all Orthodox parishes in the city can gather together and have one Liturgy together.  We shouldn't think of it as a proper church anymore, in this scenario its just public space in a historical location that we are renting.
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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2013, 08:57:20 PM »

With the history of the Turkish government, I doubt this would actually happen anytime, but I wanted to present a hypothetical situation.

Hagia Sophia is a museum, and probably will remain so for a long time. But what if the Turkish government decided that it could be used at certain times of the year?

For example, say they tell the Patriarchate that it can hold a service there once a year, possibly just the Paschal Liturgy. But, at the same time, they allow Muslims to hold prayer services there during Ramadan.

It is a big IF and a very unlikely hypothetical situation, but if this situation indeed arose, should we accept?

Or, say that they allow the building to be "rented" out for certain events, such as concerts or religious services, should we jump at the opportunity to celebrate Pascha in Hagia Sophia, even if other religious services and concerts are being held there, or even if we have to pay to worship there and even though the Islamic items and furnishings will remain?

In light of other comments...  It is possible, nor probable.  It would be blessed, not wholly reconsecrated (it was already consecrated long ago).  The Muslims would cover (not plaster) the icons.  My assumption is they would not bother more than once a year, if that.  I think that if it were to happen, they would give us our space and they would have their space.  But again, not probable, but with God all things are possible.  Long live the Great Church of Christ (in both senses).  As for the "rented," I would just submit to a synod of Bishops on this.        
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2013, 09:42:11 PM »

We should pick up Hagia Sophia and MOVE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE!
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2013, 09:49:53 PM »

And what of the Icons? They would have to be plastered over everytime the Muslims would want to pray.
From time to time, in a few Latin Catholic Churches they will have an Eastern Catholic priest celebrate the Eastern Divine  Liturgy so that Latins can become more acquainted with it. And the Eastern Catholic priest will have a temporary setup that can be easily taken down after the Byzantine Liturgy.
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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2013, 10:08:53 PM »

We should pick up Hagia Sophia and MOVE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE!

We need a Patrick picture of this... To the HH thread!
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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2013, 10:19:48 PM »

Sigh, I still pray for it's return though.
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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2013, 02:07:14 AM »

Well if the Muslims did cover up all the icons in the Hagia Sophia, at the present, couldn't we just put up some mountable ones and then take them down once our services are concluded?
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« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2013, 07:26:55 AM »

We should pick up Hagia Sophia and MOVE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE!

Until St. Peters in Rome was built it was the largest church in the world. It was said 30,000 could worship at a time. How do you move that? Use "Da'Force"?
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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2013, 08:04:55 AM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it. Your observation: "There are many churches or groups who worship(ed) in places also used by other religions, such as in a hall in a university campus" does not apply in this instance.

AFAIK the last Liturgy was seved there around WWI so it would be OK withour reconsecration.
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« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2013, 02:44:10 PM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it. Your observation: "There are many churches or groups who worship(ed) in places also used by other religions, such as in a hall in a university campus" does not apply in this instance.

AFAIK the last Liturgy was seved there around WWI so it would be OK withour reconsecration.

There was a liturgy served in Hagia Sophia around WWI? Source?
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2013, 03:40:42 PM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it. Your observation: "There are many churches or groups who worship(ed) in places also used by other religions, such as in a hall in a university campus" does not apply in this instance.

AFAIK the last Liturgy was seved there around WWI so it would be OK withour reconsecration.

There was a liturgy served in Hagia Sophia around WWI? Source?

Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWJVQQy5azQ
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« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2013, 03:51:25 PM »

Well if the Muslims did cover up all the icons in the Hagia Sophia, at the present, couldn't we just put up some mountable ones and then take them down once our services are concluded?

I wish we could.  Cry I doubt the Islamists would allow for dual-use or reconsecration (if that were necessary).
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« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2013, 04:04:58 PM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it. Your observation: "There are many churches or groups who worship(ed) in places also used by other religions, such as in a hall in a university campus" does not apply in this instance.

AFAIK the last Liturgy was seved there around WWI so it would be OK withour reconsecration.

There was a liturgy served in Hagia Sophia around WWI? Source?

Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWJVQQy5azQ

Thanks. It would be good to get something in English. Mystagogy has a cryptic article, but no translation and no commentary so it's hard to get to the context and the how and why.
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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2013, 04:18:42 PM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it. Your observation: "There are many churches or groups who worship(ed) in places also used by other religions, such as in a hall in a university campus" does not apply in this instance.

AFAIK the last Liturgy was seved there around WWI so it would be OK withour reconsecration.

There was a liturgy served in Hagia Sophia around WWI? Source?

Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWJVQQy5azQ

Thanks. It would be good to get something in English. Mystagogy has a cryptic article, but no translation and no commentary so it's hard to get to the context and the how and why.

Here's a horrible Google translation of a Greek memoir about the incident:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kairatos.com.gr%2Fagiasofia.htm&sl=el&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8
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« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2013, 01:45:06 AM »

We should pick up Hagia Sophia and MOVE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE!

lol.  You gave me a well needed smile here James.  Brings to mind Christopher Cross "Ride like the wind" with big trucks and airlifts heading for the border of Greece in the middle of the night. 
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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2013, 02:34:39 AM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it.
What power do the Muslims have that the church building requires ritual cleansing and re-sanctification?

Do the Djinn overpower Christ?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2013, 02:40:12 AM »

I'm just going to be honest. I would RATHER it stay a museum because if the Turkish government starts renting it out, then Muslims would most likely be using it as well. I find it more comforting to know that it is devoid of any religious services than to know that heathen Muslims are using it.
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« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2013, 03:23:22 PM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it.
What power do the Muslims have that the church building requires ritual cleansing and re-sanctification?

Do the Djinn overpower Christ?  Roll Eyes

No. But it's the usual order of business for churches that have been used for non-church purposes by hostile powers to reconsecrate them. The Church of the Nativity was reconsecrated after the Muslims took it over in the second Israeli occupation of Bethlehem. The altar was used for a latrine. When the occupation ended, the Orthodox faithful cleaned up the church all in one day and then the patriarch reconsecrated it.

The Armenians have a special service for "Dedicating Afresh a Profaned Church." I would imagine there's something similar in the Russian and Greek service books.
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« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2013, 03:37:07 PM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it.
What power do the Muslims have that the church building requires ritual cleansing and re-sanctification?

Do the Djinn overpower Christ?  Roll Eyes

Why make the sign of the cross when in trouble, won't God's grace be with us anyway? You could nitpick at dozens of practices like this...
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 03:37:32 PM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2013, 03:49:51 PM »

Maybe we can divide up the Hagia Sophia in the same bizarre fashion that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is divided up.  We can have the muslim section where the Catholic section would be  police
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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2013, 04:47:48 PM »

I'm just going to be honest. I would RATHER it stay a museum because if the Turkish government starts renting it out, then Muslims would most likely be using it as well. I find it more comforting to know that it is devoid of any religious services than to know that heathen Muslims are using it.
Interesting...

Sharing with Muslims though seems less confusing to me than the fact a/some Orthodox church(es) have chosen to hold their liturgies in Freemason temples before their churches were built.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 04:51:20 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2013, 05:52:17 PM »

I'd be all for this hypothetical proposal as a step in the right direction.  We could use portable ecclesiastical supplies including a Holy Table, Icon Screen, Bishop's Throne, etc., such as we use during Clergy-Laity Congresses while worshiping in hotel conference rooms.  Does anyone know if any of the other adjoining buildings remain, that were associated with the complex when the Church of the Holy Wisdom was the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, prior to May 29, 1453?
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« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2013, 07:02:45 PM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it.
What power do the Muslims have that the church building requires ritual cleansing and re-sanctification?

Do the Djinn overpower Christ?  Roll Eyes

No. But it's the usual order of business for churches that have been used for non-church purposes by hostile powers to reconsecrate them. The Church of the Nativity was reconsecrated after the Muslims took it over in the second Israeli occupation of Bethlehem. The altar was used for a latrine. When the occupation ended, the Orthodox faithful cleaned up the church all in one day and then the patriarch reconsecrated it.

The Armenians have a special service for "Dedicating Afresh a Profaned Church." I would imagine there's something similar in the Russian and Greek service books.

But Hagia Sophia is not a church anymore, and in this hypothetical situation, isn't a church. It's a museum that would be used as a once a year site for a Divibe Liturgy which would be performed with temporary liturgical furnishings and items. The altar wouldn't even be consecrated since it'd have to be removed.

As mentioned, this would just be like an Orthodox parish serving in a Anglican basement, a university ecumenical center or otherwise. It wouldn't need to be re-consecrated.
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« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2013, 01:36:58 AM »

2. As Asteriktos pointed out, we must reconsecrate after Muslims have used it.
What power do the Muslims have that the church building requires ritual cleansing and re-sanctification?

Do the Djinn overpower Christ?  Roll Eyes

Why make the sign of the cross when in trouble, won't God's grace be with us anyway? You could nitpick at dozens of practices like this...
Wouldn't holding services in the Church be the required act re-asserting dominion?
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