On July 10, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree officially turning the world-famous Hagia Sophia into a mosque. This move caused a wide criticism on the international scene and an expected negative reaction of the Christian World, first of all its Orthodox Part. Nonetheless, Turkey is rock-solid in its decision and already declared that no foreign reaction will change the decision.
This expected situation became a major blow to the Orthodox World, which sees the Church of Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom) as a landmark site of the Orthodox Christianity.
Commenting on the situation with Hagia Sophia, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus (the Church of Greece) stressed that this development is an apparent sign of the lack of unity in the Orthodox World. He recalled the ‘tragic mistake’ of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to grant a tomos to the ‘independent’ Orthodox Church of Ukraine (a pseudo-church organization created from several non-canonic entities in Ukraine in 2019) that created a rift among local Orthodox churches around the world. This, according to him, undermined the unity of the Orthodox World and weakened it. He criticised forces that “cling to heretics” rather than working to set up a united and powerful Orthodox force.
“I hope it’s now clear how tragic a mistake it was to grant autocephaly to schismatics and an unauthorized bunch in Ukraine at the behest of the Euro-Atlanticists, because this is an event that destroyed the unity of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches,” Metropolitan Seraphim concluded.
Additionally, Metropolitan Seraphim called on the Greek government to react to the Turkish decision immidiately. Earlier, Metropolitan Seraphim criticised the Greek leadership for “investing into the West”, which regularly betrays it.
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