Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Orthodox Patriarchate wins court battle

It appears that the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has one a court battle in Europe against the Turkish Government.

It's a property dispute case over an orphanage seized by the Turkish government which does not recognize the the Patriarchate as a legal entity. From Asia News:

With this verdict, the patriarchate not only can own property in Turkey, but its rights are now safeguarded by the court of Strasbourg, to which Turkey also belongs. The verdict is also a response to those in Turkey who continue to deny the historical and spiritual role of the see of Constantinople, which the international community has always acknowledged.

In addition to the specific case, the verdict is of the highest importance because it gives international recognition to the legal status of the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople, always denied until now by the Turkish government. Religious minorities in Turkey are not recognised as legal personalities, and therefore cannot own property.
This is a huge step, not only for the Turkish nation to move forward to joining the European Union by forcing the state to recognize such rights, but it's a huge victory for the Orthodox Christians who for centuries have lost property to the state on religious grounds, maybe one day Christianity can finally reclaim this....

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