26 May 2010, 16:42
Bartholomew I asks Russian Church clerics to pray for reopening Orthodox seminary on Halki island
Moscow, March 12, Interfax - Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople hopes that the Orthodox Theological Seminary on the island of Halki will resume its work.
"From the bottom of my heart, I bless brothers of monastery gathered here, convey love and care of our Constantinople Mother-Church and ask you to pray for reopening the theological school on the island of Halki," Bartholomew I said on Wednesday during his visit to the Trinity Cathedral of Moscow St. Daniel's Monastery.
"We are striving to open this school and hope that our hope won't be in vain," he said.
Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations (DECR) Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk and other representatives of the Russian Church accompanied the Constantinople Patriarch. The Monastery's Rector Archimandrite Alexy (Polikarpov) welcomed him with a bunch of flowers, the DECR website reported.
Patriarch Bartholomew confessed that each time he came to a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, his thought rushed to Halki theological school housed in the Holy Trinity Monastery sin
ce its foundation in 1844 to the moment it was closed in 1971. It is believed that the Monastery was founded by St. Photius who sent Equal-to-Apostles brothers Cyrill and Methodius with mission to Slavic countries.
This spring, Turkey's Vice Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that he personally and the government "were determined to restart education in seminar."
As was reported earlier, PACE deputies urged Turkish authorities to let Constantinople Patriarch reopen a theological school on Halki and register it as a branch of theological faculty of the Galatasaray University.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia after his meeting with Turkey's head for Religious Affairs Ali Bardakoglu in Ankara in 2009 said that "to reopen the Halki theological school would be a right step to take."
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