Bartholomew I of Constantinople

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Bartholomew I
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Bartolomew I.jpg
Church Church of Constantinople
DioceseConstantinople
SeeConstantinople
Installed2 November 1991
Predecessor Demetrios I
Personal details
Birth nameDimitrios Arhondonis (Δημήτριος Αρχοντώνης, Dēmḗtrios Archontṓnis)
Born (1940-02-29) 29 February 1940 (age 79)
Aghios Theodoros (Zeytinli Köyü), Imbros (Gökçeada), Turkey
Denomination Eastern Orthodox
Residence Fener, Istanbul, Turkey
ParentsChrḗstos (father) and Merópē (mother) Archontṓnis
Alma mater Patriarchal Theological school (Halki seminary)
Signature Working visit of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to the Turkish Republic (2019-01-05) 37 (cropped).jpg

Bartholomew I (Greek : Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαῖος Αʹ, Patriarchis Bartholomaios A', Turkish : Patrik I. Bartholomeos; born 29 February 1940) is the 270th and current Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, since 2 November 1991. [1] In accordance with his title, he is regarded as the primus inter pares (first among equals) in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and as the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. [lower-alpha 1]

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Turkish language Turkic language mainly spoken and used in Turkey

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, and sometimes known as Turkey Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Primus inter pares is a Latin phrase meaning first among equals. It is typically used as an honorary title for someone who is formally equal to other members of their group but is accorded unofficial respect, traditionally owing to their seniority in office. Historically, the princeps senatus of the Roman Senate was such a figure and initially bore only the distinction that he was allowed to speak first during debate. Also, Constantine the Great was given the role of primus inter pares. However, the term is also often used ironically or self-deprecatingly by leaders with much higher status as a form of respect, camaraderie, or propaganda. After the fall of the Republic, Roman emperors initially referred to themselves only as princeps despite having power of life and death over their "fellow citizens". Various modern figures such as the Chair of the United States Federal Reserve System, the prime minister of parliamentary countries, the Federal President of Switzerland, the Chief Justice of the United States, the Chief Justice of the Philippines, the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglican Communion and the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church fall under both senses: bearing higher status and various additional powers while remaining still merely equal to their peers in important senses.

Contents

Born Dimitrios Arhondonis (Greek : Δημήτριος Αρχοντώνης, Dimítrios Archontónis), in the village of Agios Theodoros (Zeytinli Köyü) on the island of Imbros (later renamed Gökçeada by Turkey), after his graduation he held a position at the Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki, where he was ordained a priest. Later, he served as Metropolitan of Philadelphia and Chalcedon and he became a member of the Holy Synod as well as other committees, prior to his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch.

Imbros island in Turkey

Imbros or İmroz, officially changed to Gökçeada since 29 July 1970, is the largest island of Turkey and the seat of Gökçeada District of Çanakkale Province. It is located in the Aegean Sea, at the entrance of Saros Bay and is also the westernmost point of Turkey. Imbros has an area of 279 km2 (108 sq mi) and contains some wooded areas.

Holy Synod synod comprised of a group of bishops

In several of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, the patriarch or head bishop is elected by a group of bishops called the Holy Synod. For instance, the Holy Synod is a ruling body of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Bartholomew's tenure has been characterized by intra-Orthodox cooperation, intra-Christian and inter-religious dialogue, and formal visits to Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim leaders seldom previously visited by an Ecumenical Patriarch. He has exchanged numerous invitations with church and state dignitaries. His efforts to promote religious freedom and human rights, his initiatives to advance religious tolerance among the world's religions, as well as his efforts to promote ecology and the protection of the environment, have been widely noted, and these endeavors have earned him the title "The Green Patriarch". [20] [21] Among his many international positions, he currently sits on the Board of World Religious Leaders for the Elijah Interfaith Institute. [22]

Old Catholic Church churches that split from Roman Catholic Church due to rejection of papal infallibility

The term Old Catholic Church was used from the 1850s by groups which had separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority; some of these groups, especially in the Netherlands, had already existed long before the term. These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See. Member churches of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU) are in full communion with the Anglican Communion, and some are members of the World Council of Churches.

Ecology Scientific study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment

Ecology is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms that include biotic and abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. Biodiversity means the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.

Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment by individuals, organizations and governments. Its objectives are to conserve natural resources and the existing natural environment and, where possible, to repair damage and reverse trends.

Early life and background

Bartholomew I was born in the village of Zeytinli (Greek : Άγιος Θεόδωρος, Agios Theodoros) in the island of Imbros (Greek : Ίμβρος, Imvros), son of Christos and Merope Archontónis. His secular birth name is Dimitrios Arhondonis (Δημήτριος Αρχοντώνης, Dimítrios Archontónis). He is a Turkish citizen, but he belongs (ethnically) to the historically indigenous Rum – descendants of Eastern Roman Empire/Byzantine Empire Greek community in Turkey, which today is diminished and reduced due to the Greek genocide, the subsequent population exchange of 1923 between Greece and Turkey and ultimately through the exodus of Greeks post the 1960s Cyprus conflicts.

Rûm, also transliterated as Roum, is a generic term used at different times in the Muslim world to refer to:

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in Europe."Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

The Greeks in Turkey constitute a population of Greek and Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians who mostly live in Istanbul, as well as on the two islands of the western entrance to the Dardanelles: Imbros and Tenedos.

Dimitrios Archontonis attended elementary school in his native Imvros and continued his secondary education in the famous Zographeion Lyceum in Istanbul. Soon afterwards, he studied Theology as an undergraduate at the Patriarchal Theological school or Halki seminary, from which he graduated with highest honours in 1961, and was immediately ordained deacon, receiving the name Bartholomew. Bartholomew fulfilled his military service in the Turkish army as a non regular officer between 1961 and 1963. From 1963 to 1968, Bartholomew pursued his postgraduate studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in Switzerland and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany. His doctoral research was on the Canon Law. The same year he became a lecturer in the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Istanbul Metropolitan municipality in Marmara, Turkey

Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side of the Bosporus. With a total population of around 15 million residents in its metropolitan area, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth largest city proper and the largest European city. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Istanbul is a bridge between the East and West.

Theology Study of the nature of deities and religious belief

Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supernatural, but also especially with epistemology, and asks and seeks to answer the question of revelation. Revelation pertains to the acceptance of God, gods, or deities, as not only transcendent or above the natural world, but also willing and able to interact with the natural world and, in particular, to reveal themselves to humankind. While theology has turned into a secular field, religious adherents still consider theology to be a discipline that helps them live and understand concepts such as life and love and that helps them lead lives of obedience to the deities they follow or worship.

Halki seminary seminary

The Halki seminary, formally the Theological School of Halki, was founded on 1 October 1844 on the island of Halki, the second-largest of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara. It was the main school of theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church's Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople until the Turkish parliament enacted a law banning private higher education institutions in 1971. The theological school is located at the top of the island's Hill of Hope, on the site of the Byzantine-era Monastery of the Holy Trinity. The premises of the school continue to be maintained by the monastery and are used to host conferences. It is possible to visit the island where it is located via boat in approximately one hour from the shore of Istanbul. An international campaign to reopen this theological school is ongoing, as noted by American Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland in the United States Congress during the 2nd Session of Proceedings and Debates of the 111th Congress.

After returning to Istanbul in 1968, he took a position at the Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki, where he was ordained a priest in 1969, by Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. When Demetrius I became Ecumenical Patriarch in 1972 and established the Patriarchal Office, he selected Bartholomew as its director. On Christmas of 1973, Bartholomew became Metropolitan of Philadelphia, and was renamed as director of the patriarchal office until his enthronement as Metropolitan of Chalcedon in 1990. From March 1974 until his enthronement as Ecumenical Patriarch, he was a member of the Holy Synod as well as of many Synodical Committees.

Chalcedon Town in Bithynia

Chalcedon was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor. It was located almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari and it is now a district of the city of Istanbul named Kadıköy. The name Chalcedon is a variant of Calchedon, found on all the coins of the town as well as in manuscripts of Herodotus's Histories, Xenophon's Hellenica, Arrian's Anabasis, and other works. Except for a tower, almost no above-ground vestiges of the ancient city survive in Kadıköy today; artifacts uncovered at Altıyol and other excavation sites are on display at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

He speaks Modern Greek, Turkish, Italian, German, French and English; he is also fluent in classical Greek and Latin.

Bartholomew I was the target of an assassination plot which was planned to take place on May 29, 2013. [23] One suspect was arrested and there is an ongoing search for two others. [23]

Ordinations and ecclesiastical appointments

Patriarchate

Bartholomew with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Patriarch Kirill Patriarch bartholomew, patriarch kirill and dmitri medvedev.jpeg
Bartholomew with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Patriarch Kirill

As Ecumenical Patriarch, he has been particularly active internationally. One of his first focuses has been on rebuilding the once-persecuted Eastern Orthodox Churches of the former Eastern Bloc following the fall of Communism there in 1990. As part of this effort he has worked to strengthen ties among the various national Churches and Patriarchates of the Eastern Orthodox Communion. He has also continued the reconciliation dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church started by his predecessors, and initiated dialogue with other faiths, including other Christian sects, Muslims, and Jews. [24] [25]

United States President Barack Obama meets with Bartholomew I. President Barack Obama meets with Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I crop.jpg
United States President Barack Obama meets with Bartholomew I.
Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Pope Franciscus & Patriarch Bartholomew I in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (1).JPG
Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Environmentalism

He has also gained a reputation as a prominent environmentalist, putting the support of the Patriarchate behind various international environmental causes. This has earned him the nicknames of "the Green Patriarch" and "the Green Pope", [26] [27] [28] [29] and in 2002 he was honored with the Sophie Prize. He has also been honoured with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award which may be bestowed by the Legislative Branch of the United States government.

Turkey

Bartholomew I, after his attempts to celebrate the liturgy in remote areas of Turkey, thereby renewing the Orthodox presence, which was absent since before 1924, has now come under intense pressure from Turkish nationalist elements. The patriarchal Seminary of Halki in the Princes' Islands remains closed since 1971 on government orders.

In an interview published on 19 November 2006 in the daily newspaper Sabah , Bartholomew I addressed the issues of religious freedom and the then upcoming papal trip to Turkey. He also referred to the closing of the Halki seminary by saying: "As Turkish citizens, we pay taxes. We serve in the military. We vote. As citizens we do everything. We want the same rights. But it does not happen... If Muslims want to study theology, there are 24 theology faculties. Where are we going to study?" He also addressed the issue of his Ecumenical title and it not being accepted by the Turkish government: "We've had this title since the 6th century... The word ecumenical has no political content. [...] This title is the only thing that I insist on. I will never renounce this title." [30] [31]

Ecumenical dialogue

During his trip to Turkey in November 2006, Pope Benedict XVI traveled to Istanbul on the invitation of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I. The Pope participated in the feast day services of St. Andrew the First Apostle, the patron saint of the Church of Constantinople. This was the third official visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate by a Pope (the first being by Paul VI in 1967, and the second by John Paul II in 1979). He attended the Papal inauguration of Pope Francis on 19 March 2013, paving the way for better Catholic–Orthodox relations. It was the first time that the spiritual head of Eastern Orthodox Christians had attended a papal inauguration since the Great Schism in 1054. [32] [33] After, he invited Pope Francis to travel with him to the Holy Land in 2014 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the embrace between Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI. Pope Francis was also invited to the Patriarchate for the feast day of Saint Andrew (30 November). [34]

Support of refugees, reunification and peace

On 16 April 2016 he visited, together with Pope Francis and Archbishop Hieronymus, the Mòria camp in the island of Lesbos, to call the attention of the world to the refugee issue. [35] In December 2018, he visited DMZ and prayed for permanent peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula. [36] [37]

Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine

Bartholomew I with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, 3 November 2018 Poroshenko i p. Varfolomii.jpg
Bartholomew I with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, 3 November 2018

In October 2018 the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate agreed to grant autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, to reestablish a stauropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kiev, to revoke the legal binding of the letter of 1686 which led to the Russian Orthodox Church establishing jurisdiction over the Ukrainian Church, and to lift the excommunications which affected clergy and faithful of two then unrecognized Orthodox churches in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP). In response, the Russian Orthodox Church announced it was cutting ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which marked the beginning of the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism. [38]

On 5 January 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew granted autocephaly to the newly founded Orthodox church of Ukraine. [39]

Possession of Vatican St. Peter Bone Fragments

On 2 July 2019, it was announced that Pope Francis had given Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew possession of nine bone fragments believed to belong to St. Peter and which were publicly displayed by Pope Francis in November 2013 during a Vatican 'Year of Faith' Mass. [40] Bartholomew, who also gained possession of the bronze reliquary which they are displayed in, [40] described the Pope's gesture as "brave and bold." [40]

Titles

Styles of
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople
Reference style His All Holiness
Spoken style Your All Holiness
Religious style Ecumenical Patriarch
Posthumous styleN/A

Full title:

His Most Divine All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch

in Greek:

Η Αυτού Θειοτάτη Παναγιότης ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Νέας Ρώμης και Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος Α'

Title recognized by the Republic of Turkey:

Bartholomew I, Patriarch of the Phanar Roman Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul

in Turkish:

İstanbul Fener Rum Patriği Birinci Bartholomeos

Distinctions

Orders

Academic

He has been awarded honorary doctorates by a number of universities and educational institutions around the world, among them: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Patras, TEI of Kavala, Democritus University of Thrace, University of Crete, University of Ioannina, University of the Aegean, University of Western Macedonia and University of Thessaly in Greece, Moscow State University in Russia, University of Bucharest and University of Iaşi in Romania, City University of London, Exeter University and University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute and Université de Provence Aix-Marseille I in France, Izmir University of Economics in Turkey, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea, Flinders University in Australia, Adamson University in the Philippines, St. Andrew's College and Sherbrooke University in Canada, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Georgetown University, Tufts University, Southern Methodist University, Yale University, Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in the United States.

He received an honorary PhD. from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem on 6th December 2017. [46]

In October 2009, he received an honorary doctorate from Fordham University in the United States. [47]

In December 2018, he received an honorary doctorate from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. [48] [49]

Other

On December 3, 2013, he received the Global Thinkers Forum 2013 Award for Excellence in Peace and Collaboration.

In 2012 he received the Four Freedom Award for the Freedom of Worship [50]

In 1997, Bartholomew received the Congressional Gold Medal. The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards given by the United States. [51]

In 2002, he received the Sophie Prize for his work on the environment. [52]

In April 2008, he was included on the Time 100 most influential people in the world list. [53] In 1999 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania; in 2004, by Federal President Thomas Klestil, the Great Golden Medal with Ribbon for Services to the Republic of Austria and on 13 March 2007, the third anniversary of the death of Cardinal Franz König, Bartholomew was awarded in Vienna's St. Stephen the "Cardinal König Prize" Foundation "Communio et Progressio".

See also

Notes

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Fener is a quarter midway up the Golden Horn within the district of Fatih in Istanbul, Turkey. The streets in the area are full of historic wooden mansions, churches, and synagogues dating from the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. The wooden mansions between the main axis and the shore were often used for importing wood from Pontus or the Black Sea area. Their picturesque facades were largely destroyed due to street widening requirements in the 1930s and later.The area's name is a Turkish transliteration of the original Greek φανάριον It was so called for a column topped with a lantern which stood there in the Byzantine period – used as a public light or marine and/or other purpose locator/beacon.

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    3. Andrew P. Holt; James Muldoon (2008). Competing Voices from the Crusades. Greenwood World Pub. p. xiv. ISBN   978-1-84645-011-2. ...one made during a visit to Greece in 2001 for the crusaders' sack of Constantinople in 1204. Three years later, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, finally accepted the Pope's
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    Eastern Orthodox Church titles
    Preceded by
    Unknown
    Metropolitan of Philadelphia
    1973–1990
    Succeeded by
    Meliton (Karas)
    Preceded by
    Meliton (Hadjis)
    Metropolitan of Chalcedon
    1990–1991
    Succeeded by
    Joachim (Neradjoulis)
    Preceded by
    Demetrius I
    Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
    1991–present
    Incumbent