Skip to comments.Hagia Sophia: Greek president appeals to Pope Francis to put pressure on Turkey
Posted on 07/21/2020 7:24:37 PM PDT by ebb tide
The president of Greece called Pope Francis Monday urging the pope to advocate for the preservation of the status quo regarding Hagia Sophia, which is due to be reverted to a mosque this week.
In a phone call July 20, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou told the pope that Turkeys decision deeply hurts those who consider this top symbol of Christianity to belong to humanity and the worlds cultural heritage, according to a statement from the presidents office.
She said that the move should be explicitly and unequivocally condemned by the international community, and asked Pope Francis to help garner international support so that the Turkish leadership revokes its decision and restores Hagia Sophia to the status of a protected monument.
According to the Greek government communiqué, Pope Francis acknowledged the political motives of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğans decision, which Sakellaropoulou described as diverting Turkey from the values of the secular state and the principles of tolerance and pluralism.
The pope also expressed his gratitude to Greece for its efforts in receiving refugees and migrants, and said he hoped that conditions would allow him to act on the presidents invitation to visit the country in 2021.
I asked @Pontifex to use his influence to raise the awareness of the international community about the conversion of #HagiaSophia into a mosque. I stressed that this decision by Turkey undermines the foundations of tolerance and deepens the rift between cultures and religions. President GR (@PresidencyGR) July 20, 2020
The Greek presidents call came after reports that President Erdoğan had invited Pope Francis to be a guest at the July 24 ceremony reopening Hagia Sophia as the Ayasofya Mosque.
Hagia Sophia is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former cathedral of Holy Wisdom in Istanbul. It was founded in 537 under the Emperor Justinian.
For a time it was the biggest building in the world and the largest Christian church. It served as the cathedral of the Patriarch of Constantinople before and after the Great Schism split Western and Eastern Christianity.
After the Ottoman capture of Constantinople in 1453, the cathedral was converted into a mosque. Under the Ottomans, architects added minarets and buttresses to preserve the building, but the mosaics showing Christian imagery were whitewashed and covered.
In 1934, under the leadership of President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the mosque was turned into a museum.
The conversion of Hagia Sophia into a museum was considered a symbol of the Atatürk governments commitment to building a secular republic. Mosaics were uncovered, including depictions of Christ, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Justinian I, and the Byzantine Empress Zoë Porphyrogenita.
When the museum reopens for worship as a mosque, it is believed that the mosaics will have to be covered during Muslim prayers, as well as the seraph figures located in the high basilica dome.
Pope Francis has previously expressed sadness following Turkeys decision to convert the former Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.
The pope spoke out two days after Erdoğan signed a decree July 10 turning the sixth-century edifice into an Islamic place of worship.
And the sea carries me a little farther away in my thoughts: to Istanbul. I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened, Pope Francis said in his Angelus address July 12.
only way this pope does anything Christian is by accident
If this Pope goes to this event and does nothing but offer praise for Erdogan’s action, then I can have no respect for any Catholic who doesn’t demand his ouster.
deeply hurts those who consider this top symbol of Christianity to belong to humanity and the worlds cultural heritage,
Ye shall make you no idols ...neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.
I am not clear on this, is he bowing or is he about to sit down?
Well on second thought:
ia that guy made of stone or is he an idol? Sorry but I am not clear on the point.
Shouldn’t the African man bend over and drop his pants?
Seems Franny should be kissing his ass.
We can’t “demand” his outster. It doesn’t work that way. But in my daily prayers I ask the Holy Spirit to send us a good and faithful shepherd.
Brings memories of a century ago....the massacres of Armenian and Greek Christians by The Turks...
This is the way the world works. Wars are fought for acquisition. They won the war a long long time ago. It is theirs with no limitations or restrictions to do with as they will. Ataturk played nice as a gesture of peace to the world. The new guy not so much. But it is his to do as he wishes.
The only way to change it is to wage war to take it back. If not willing to do that then be a good loser and leave it alone rather than whine the new guy doesn’t play nice.
On the other hand, there is a very similar situation some few hundred miles south of Istanbul.....
Islam is a war plan.
Francis is... well, perfectly Francis.
Isn’t the proper traditional prayer for this Pope “Libera nos, Domine”?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.