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Greek – Americans will conduct mass at Agia Sophia

mike

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Members of the “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” will make a pilgrimage to Agia Sofia in Istanbul in order to conduct mass on September 17, the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the holy feast day of Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love.
During a press conference in Thessaloniki, the President of the International Congregation, Chris Spirou, said that the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdoğan, has already been informed in writing.
“The purpose of our Congregation’s visit is to conduct Holy Liturgy Services in the the Great Church of Christianity, the Symbol of the Orthodox Christian Faith”, was written in the letter. After he was asked, whether the Greek Department of Foreign Affairs has been notified about this, Mr. Spirou said that it isn’t a political issue and that “no government has the right to interfere with religion and to appoint religious leaders”.
The “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” was founded in 2005 and is a USA-based non-profit organization. Its purpose is to restore the Agia Sophia as a place of worship. The organisation’s thousands of members worldwide include followers of other religions and denominations.
source
 

Irish Hermit

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Russian bishops have, rather cheekily, conducted services there in recent years but they have the might of the Russian State to protect them

See message 66
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23401.msg389975.html#msg389975
 

ialmisry

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Members of the “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” will make a pilgrimage to Agia Sofia in Istanbul in order to conduct mass on September 17, the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the holy feast day of Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love.
Don't even know that Aghia Sophia is dedicated to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30), not the Martyr Sophia and her children?
 

Irish Hermit

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ialmisry said:
Members of the “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” will make a pilgrimage to Agia Sofia in Istanbul in order to conduct mass on September 17, the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the holy feast day of Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love.
Don't even know that Aghia Sophia is dedicated to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30), not the Martyr Sophia and her children?
Good point.  Makes you wonder how serious and how knowledgeable this "International Congregation" is.
 

username!

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So a group that promotes the restoration of the agia Sophia to a church doesn't even know who the church is dedicated to...even Wikipedia can tell you that.  If a group claims to have written permission from the Turkish prime minister that would seemingly demonstrate some for
Of intelligence on the groups membership. The thing is if you can be smart enough to go through an international process to obtain a supposed permit from a head of state then you'd think the group membership would be smart enough to Wikipedia and learn who the church is dedicated to. 
 

Orthodox11

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username! said:
If a group claims to have written permission from the Turkish prime minister that would seemingly demonstrate some for
The article says they had written to inform the prime minister. It didn't say what his reply had been.

Who is the priest who is going with them to celebrate the Liturgy? I can't imagine any priest belonging to the Ecumenical Patriarchate would be permitted to do something like this.

 

Alveus Lacuna

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ialmisry said:
Don't even know that Aghia Sophia is dedicated to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30), not the Martyr Sophia and her children?
That was the first thing I thought when I read the article...
 

88Devin12

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I always thought it was simply "Holy Wisdom" and not dedicated to any particular Saint.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Dedicated to the Wisdom of God, Sophia, which is Jesus Christ.

Not to be confused with the goddess Sophia, "resurrected" and adored by Neo-Gnostics.
 

Irish Hermit

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Liturgy at Hagia Sophia on Sept. 17, 2010

By Kleo Mavridis

Members of the "International Congregation of Agia Sophia" will make a
pilgrimage to Agia Sofia in Istanbul in order to conduct divine liturgy on
September 17, the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the holy feast day of
Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love.


http://usa.greekreporter.com/2010/05/07/greek-americans-will-conduct-mass-at-agia-sophia-on-september-17-2010/
 

mike

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It's old.

They won't succeed.
 

Iconodule

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God help them, but how do they plan on getting past the ticket line?
 

mike

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I've merged two topics concerning the same issue.
 

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88Devin12 said:
I always thought it was simply "Holy Wisdom" and not dedicated to any particular Saint.
"...Wisdom, Word, and Power of God, grant that we may more perfectly partake of Thee, in the neverending day of Thy Kingdom."  (Hymns of the Resurrection;  read by deacon following communion).  It is dedicated to Christ the Wisdom of God. 
 

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Orthodox11 said:
username! said:
If a group claims to have written permission from the Turkish prime minister that would seemingly demonstrate some for
The article says they had written to inform the prime minister. It didn't say what his reply had been.
Who is the priest who is going with them to celebrate the Liturgy? I can't imagine any priest belonging to the Ecumenical Patriarchate would be permitted to do something like this.
Good question. 
 

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These Greeks are arrogant. As they say in subtitles for Chinese movies - dream on!
 

Irish Hermit

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observer said:
These Greeks are arrogant. As they say in subtitles for Chinese movies - dream on!
There have been two instances in recent years when Russian bishops have been in Istanbul for pan-Orthodox events.  While there they have taken the opportunity to walk into Hagia Sophia, put on vestments and celebrate Requiem services for the deceased Patriarchs of the city.

You can only imagine the poor Turkish Police and the museum authorities who would have stood there disbelieving and openmouthed.  No doubt they would have rushed to the telephone to ask what to do and were probably told it is better to let the Russians go ahead rather than to risk the international bad press and adverse diplomatic repercussions from Russia if they closed the services down and arrested the Russian bishops. 

How wonderful it would have been to be there and to hear the singing of Christian prayer reverberating in the dome of Hagia Sophia, with the strength and the beauty of Russian male voices raised in worship of the Trinity.
 

deusveritasest

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ialmisry said:
Members of the “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” will make a pilgrimage to Agia Sofia in Istanbul in order to conduct mass on September 17, the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the holy feast day of Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love.
Don't even know that Aghia Sophia is dedicated to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30), not the Martyr Sophia and her children?
That's pretty ignorant.
 

deusveritasest

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88Devin12 said:
I always thought it was simply "Holy Wisdom" and not dedicated to any particular Saint.
Christ is Holy Wisdom. There is a tradition of interpreting Christ as Sophia.
 

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According to legend, when liturgy is celebrated there, the priest and a couple others that were there in 1453 are supposed to come out of the walls and complete the liturgy the Mohammedans interrupted.
 

Melodist

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Shanghaiski said:
According to legend, when liturgy is celebrated there, the priest and a couple others that were there in 1453 are supposed to come out of the walls and complete the liturgy the Mohammedans interrupted.
I suppose it might depend on who is celebrating the liturgy.

The organisation’s thousands of members worldwide include followers of other religions and denominations.
 

Shanghaiski

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Melodist said:
Shanghaiski said:
According to legend, when liturgy is celebrated there, the priest and a couple others that were there in 1453 are supposed to come out of the walls and complete the liturgy the Mohammedans interrupted.
I suppose it might depend on who is celebrating the liturgy.

The organisation’s thousands of members worldwide include followers of other religions and denominations.
Aha!
 

Fr. George

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Irish Hermit said:
How wonderful it would have been to be there and to hear the singing of Christian prayer reverberating in the dome of Hagia Sophia, with the strength and the beauty of Russian male voices raised in worship of the Trinity. 
I still consider as one of the most awe inspiring experiences of my life standing in a portico at Agia Sophia singing the Apolytikion of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
 

augustin717

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Shanghaiski said:
According to legend, when liturgy is celebrated there, the priest and a couple others that were there in 1453 are supposed to come out of the walls and complete the liturgy the Mohammedans interrupted.
The last liturgy in Aghia Sophia had the pope commemorated in the diptychs.
The Venetians received the communion alongside the Greeks.
 

ICXCNIKA

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Just saw this so I thought I would share: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=no-tolerance-to-spirou-led-group-government-says-2010-09-16

The Turkish government has said in no uncertain terms that a group of nearly 200 people led by a Greek-American nongovernmental organization will not be allowed to conduct a religious service at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia.

“A message was delivered to [event organizer] Chris Spirou that his attempts were seen as a provocation,” Turkish diplomatic sources told reporters Thursday. The sources did not disclose who gave the message to Spriou, a Greek and American citizen.


Edited because of the new policy - mike.
 

Second Chance

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Couple of interesting tidbits from the Hurriyet article:

- "a very recent application from a Muslim group had also been refused due to the principle of keeping Hagia Sophia closed to worship."

- "The group led by Spirou, a former adviser to Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic and the founder of the International Hagia Sophia Coalition, is planning to arrive in Istanbul on Saturday to conduct a religious service at the well-known building, which served as a church and a mosque before being secularized and opened as a museum in 1935."

Now, most of us who know the Turks would have predicted this outcome (I kept my mouth shut because of my hope that a miracle would occur and let this happen). On the other hand, I had no idea that Spirou was a former adviser to Milosovic, the former Serbian leader who had faced trial for crimes against humanity.
 

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Using the liturgy as a form of protest seems blasphemous. It's one thing if the liturgy is performed in a functioning church and it is interrupted. But, should it be begun at Hagia Sophia under its present circumstances and be interrupted, the ones at fault would be those who did the liturgy in the first place. It's just asking for trouble.
 

Iconodule

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Shanghaiski said:
Using the liturgy as a form of protest seems blasphemous. It's one thing if the liturgy is performed in a functioning church and it is interrupted. But, should it be begun at Hagia Sophia under its present circumstances and be interrupted, the ones at fault would be those who did the liturgy in the first place. It's just asking for trouble.
I'd say that the liturgy was rather rudely interrupted when the Ottomans broke down the door and started slaughtering people inside.
 

SolEX01

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Iconodule said:
Shanghaiski said:
Using the liturgy as a form of protest seems blasphemous. It's one thing if the liturgy is performed in a functioning church and it is interrupted. But, should it be begun at Hagia Sophia under its present circumstances and be interrupted, the ones at fault would be those who did the liturgy in the first place. It's just asking for trouble.
I'd say that the liturgy was rather rudely interrupted when the Ottomans broke down the door and started slaughtering people inside.
Why do you want to keep reminding us of this fact?  Are you in Istanbul preparing to celebrate blasphemy?
 

Iconodule

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SolEX01 said:
Iconodule said:
Shanghaiski said:
Using the liturgy as a form of protest seems blasphemous. It's one thing if the liturgy is performed in a functioning church and it is interrupted. But, should it be begun at Hagia Sophia under its present circumstances and be interrupted, the ones at fault would be those who did the liturgy in the first place. It's just asking for trouble.
I'd say that the liturgy was rather rudely interrupted when the Ottomans broke down the door and started slaughtering people inside.
Why do you want to keep reminding us of this fact?
I don't remember mentioning it before...

 
Are you in Istanbul preparing to celebrate blasphemy?
Your concept of "blasphemy" is decidedly disproportionate.
 

SolEX01

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Iconodule said:
SolEX01 said:
Iconodule said:
Shanghaiski said:
Using the liturgy as a form of protest seems blasphemous. It's one thing if the liturgy is performed in a functioning church and it is interrupted. But, should it be begun at Hagia Sophia under its present circumstances and be interrupted, the ones at fault would be those who did the liturgy in the first place. It's just asking for trouble.
I'd say that the liturgy was rather rudely interrupted when the Ottomans broke down the door and started slaughtering people inside.
Why do you want to keep reminding us of this fact?
I don't remember mentioning it before...
But 9/17/2010 was supposed to remind the world of what the Ottomans (and their successors) did on 5/29/1453 according to a former Greek-American NH politician and his organization that dared suggest performing a DL inside Hagia Sophia Museum.

Iconodule said:
Are you in Istanbul preparing to celebrate blasphemy?
Your concept of "blasphemy" is decidedly disproportionate.
So no Divine Liturgy, Mass or any religious service was performed inside Haghia Sophia Museum on 9/17/2010.  ;)  I'm happy that the Divine Liturgy was not blasphemed as one man's (or organization's) political stunt.  ;D
 

Iconodule

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SolEX01 said:
So no Divine Liturgy, Mass or any religious service was performed inside Haghia Sophia Museum on 9/17/2010.   ;) 
I'm glad that the triumph of Islam over Christianity pleases you so much.
 

SolEX01

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Iconodule said:
SolEX01 said:
So no Divine Liturgy, Mass or any religious service was performed inside Haghia Sophia Museum on 9/17/2010.   ;)  
I'm glad that the triumph of Islam over Christianity pleases you so much.
I find a lot of activities pleasing like ... reading, traveling, tennis, watching the fall foliage, watching sham organizations led by individuals of dubious qualifications make fools of themselves, et al....

How can you conclude that the triumph of Islam over Christianity pleases me ... well, that is above my pay level.   ;)

The USA Greek Reporter does not mention the failed attempt of a religious service at Hagia Sophia Museum.
 

SolEX01

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serb1389 said:
So...did this end up happening or not?
No.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=63995

A group of 250 Greek-Americans who urged Turkish authorities to allow a religious service at the Aya-Sofya Museum in Istanbul --which has been closed to religious worship for 75 years-- decided not to go to Turkey.

In an act of gesture towards Orthodox Christians Turkey recently allowed an historic mass at the Sumela Monastery which was closed to worship for 88 years, which drew some 1,500 Orthodox Christians from Russian Federation, Greece, Georgia and the U.S. to Trabzon, and is getting ready to open the historic Armenian Church on the Akdamar island to religious worship for a single day, as a symbolic gesture to the Armenian community around the world.

Chris Spiru, head of the "International Congregation of Agia Sophia" and the leader of the group which has been waiting in Alexandroupoli to leave for Turkey early on Friday, told AA that they received a statement from Turkish authorities regarding their demand and actions as provocative.

Spiru who argued that their sole intention was to pray, said the statement was like a restriction of entry to Turkey. He said they changed their mind and decided not to go to Turkey upon this development.
 

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Do you know has HAH issued any statement about them? Who would have celebrated the Liturgy?
 

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mike said:
Do you know has HAH issued any statement about them? Who would have celebrated the Liturgy?
I read in one of the newspapers that an authority from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople rebuked the activity in almost same terms as the Turkish government. The fact that the EP seems pro-government and speaks in favor of the Neo-Ottomanism bothers me a lot though.  :(
 
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