13 April 2005

A petition worth signing

I am not usually one to sign petitions too readily, but this one appears to be worthy of support. It requests that the government of the Republic of Turkey permit the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Theological School of Halki, which Ankara forcibly closed in 1971. Given that this was once the chief institution for the training of Orthodox clergy in that country, its closure could be seen as part of a continuing official effort to diminish further the Greek and Christian presence in Constantinople and to force the Patriarchate into exile. If Turkey wants badly enough to become a member of the European Union, it might have an incentive to honour this petition.

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