Boston Globe: Meeting will highlight Christianity in Turkey
As the meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis draws closer, the Boston Globe brings attention to another implication of this historic event with an article by John L. Allen Jr.
Meeting will highlight Christianity in Turkey
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By John L. Allen Jr.
When Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople meet this month in Jerusalem, the buzz probably will be about two milestones from the past: 1054, when Eastern and Western Christianity split, and 1964, when Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras embraced in the Holy Land to begin healing the division.
That historic meeting 50 years ago helped launch the modern ecumenical movement for Christian unity.
For anyone who understands the realities facing Christianity in the Middle East today, however, the most relevant date actually lies in the future — 2054, to be exact.
When the 1,000th anniversary of the East-West rupture rolls around 40 years from now, the question is whether there will still be an ecumenical patriarchate in Constantinople, modern-day Istanbul in Turkey, to mark it.
There’s every possibility that in the meantime, the historic “first among equals” in the Orthodox world will become another chapter of the slow-motion extinction of Christianity across the land of its birth
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