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Ray S. Offline OP
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I surprised no one has posted this already:

From Yahoo News [story.news.yahoo.com]

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VATICAN CITY - The pope won't be going to Istanbul, but in a gesture to the Orthodox Church he is returning the relics of two saints that were seized by Crusaders 800 years ago, Vatican (news - web sites) officials said Thursday.

Ecumenical Patriarch Barthlomew I of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, had asked for the return of the relics when he met with Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II at the Vatican in June. At that time, he also invited the pope to visit the seat of the Orthodox Church in Istanbul.


Because of the 84-year-old pontiff's frail condition, the Vatican has reduced his foreign travel and he won't make the trip to Istanbul. John Paul visited Istanbul in 1979.


Instead, a Vatican delegation will return the relics at the end of November for the Orthodox feast day of Saint Andrew, officials said.


The relics � the bones of the patriarchs Saints John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzen � disappeared from Constantinople, the modern day Istanbul, in the sack of 1204 by Crusaders. They have been kept in St. Peter's Basilica.


The patriarch's June visit was intended to underline both sides' commitment to Christian unity and to restart stalled theological talks.


Christianity split into Western and Eastern branches in the 11th century over the growing power of the papacy, an issue that remains a principal source of division.

During his talks with Barthlomew, the pope had restated his remorse for the sacking of Constantinople that contributed to the collapse of the Byzantine Empire about three centuries later.

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Good for him. It's a start!

OrthoMan

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Ray,

Thanks for posting that, I didn't see it on the Vatican News Service or Zenit. Excellent news.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I find the return of the relics a little worrysome. I know that the Turkish government will not allow anything to be taken out of Turkey that belongs to the Patriarchate. That is one of the major reasons the Patriarch remains in Istanbul.

What if something should happen to him? Only someone with a Turkish citizenship can become Patriarch. There are very few candidates left...if any.

The Orthodox were persecuted heavily 40 years ago, and only a small remnant remain. It appears the
Turkish laws was made with the specific intent of eliminating the Patriarchate.

I do hope plans were made for the relics, just in case.

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I was thinking exactly the same thing before I read your post.

I think the relics would be much safer on Athos.

Nothing that goes into Turkey will ever come out safely.

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These are wonderworking relics, of wonderworker Saints. They are quite capable of looking after themselves, I'm sure. Not only are they able to look after themselves, but who knows what miracle they may work, upon their return to the city, the new Rome? Perhaps they might herald a brighter future for the Christian communities in Istanbul and Turkey? They certainly have that power, and the time is ripe for the Gospel and a new flowering of Christ's message in that country.

Nick

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I would love, however, to know of any recent items the Orthodox, specifially the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has returned to the Catholic Church. Since this is ecumenical in spirit, obviously both sides must participate in the gift-giving.

I also find it the slightest bit, err, up front, for the patriarch to ask for the return of specific relics. But, then again, I guess hierarchs need a little chutzpah...something most of our (Roman) Catholic hierarchy is sorely lacking.

Logos Teen

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Originally posted by Teen Of The Incarnate Logos:
I would love, however, to know of any recent items the Orthodox, specifially the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has returned to the Catholic Church. Since this is ecumenical in spirit, obviously both sides must participate in the gift-giving.

I also find it the slightest bit, err, up front, for the patriarch to ask for the return of specific relics. But, then again, I guess hierarchs need a little chutzpah...something most of our (Roman) Catholic hierarchy is sorely lacking.

Logos Teen
I don't know what's going on with things like the return of relics or items like the Kazan icon. I would hate to think the pope is trying to curry favor with the Orthodox. If he is, it isn't working. You can only get good will from someone who has it to give. So he must have some other motive. What it is, I don't know. Granted, some of the "stuff" is going back to rightful owners - at least the owners at one time. Some things have rotated around enough that it's questionable as to who really owns them. Is there a longer range plan in the works here? I'm puzzled.

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Quote
Originally posted by Teen Of The Incarnate Logos:
I would love, however, to know of any recent items the Orthodox, specifially the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has returned to the Catholic Church. Since this is ecumenical in spirit, obviously both sides must participate in the gift-giving.
Garrett,

Did you have in mind anything particular that the Orthodox looted from us? Nothing comes immediately to mine.

Quote
I also find it the slightest bit, err, up front, for the patriarch to ask for the return of specific relics.
You're right. It's too bad that he had to ask, that we didn't make the offer up front.

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Originally posted by ByzanTN:
I don't know what's going on with things like the return of relics or items like the Kazan icon. ... So he must have some other motive. What it is, I don't know.
Hmm, restitution comes to mind.

Quote
Granted, some of the "stuff" is going back to rightful owners - at least the owners at one time. Some things have rotated around enough that it's questionable as to who really owns them.
Charles,

Do you think this is like the legal principle of "adverse possession", whereby if you occupy and make use of land owned by another for a specified period (usually 20 years) without the original owner complaining of your occupation and use, your claim to the property becames superior to theirs? The "stuff" are holy things, that we have had the audacity to hold them, sometimes for centuries, as if they were trophies of battle (rather than spoils of war, which is what they are) is a travesty of all that religion is about.

Many years,

Neil


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Stuff that the Orthodox looted from us? How much time do you have? A list of Greek-Catholic church edifices, monasteries, and other ecclesiastical properties in Belarus, Ukraine and Romania would be quite extensive. One might begin with the Cathedral in Oradea Mare.
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Incognitus,

You are correct. I should have phrased my words somewhat differently, anything the Patriarchate of Constantinople (which is what Garrett/Teen specifically mentioned) is holding in the Phanar?

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Nick wrote:
These are wonderworking relics, of wonderworker Saints. They are quite capable of looking after themselves, I'm sure. Not only are they able to look after themselves, but who knows what miracle they may work, upon their return to the city, the new Rome? Perhaps they might herald a brighter future for the Christian communities in Istanbul and Turkey? They certainly have that power, and the time is ripe for the Gospel and a new flowering of Christ's message in that country.

AMEN Nick, these are the same thoughts that came to my mind. Oh wouldn't it be awesome for the saints to once again see the rise of the Hagi Sophia in Turkey. Maybe it could be restored to the Christian faithful.

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Bless, Father Incognitus!

You are "Rite On!"

Alex

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Sending something to Moscow is one thing. It's relatively stable there. But to Turkey? The government would like nothing better than to drive the Patriarch and his 2,000 followers into the sea - keeping, of course, all the material goods he possesses. I realize these are wonder working relics, but what happens if they become inaccesible relics because they are in Turkey? I would agree with returning things to rightful owners after 20 years, since it's still possible to get them back to the rightful owners. But after centuries, it gets a little murky as to who owns them. For example, do some things belong to governments that no longer exist? For every nasty thing that Catholics have done to the Orthodox, you can find something they did to Catholics. Bad behavior isn't limited to either side.

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Dear Friends,

This calls to mind the feast of the translation of St Nicholas' relics on May 9th/22nd.

Some Orthodox, I've heard, call this an act of "poaching" of relics by the Italian merchants who did take the Saint's relics to Bari in Italy from what was Myra.

But the Orthodox Church does not see it this way.

The relics and church that housed them fell under Turkish control and the Italian merchants decided to take the relics from under it to where they could be venerated more freely.

The hole in the side of the Saint's reliquary is still to be seen there!

And the Orthodox Church honoured this act with a festival and propers. The feast of St Nicholas' translation became a Church-wide feast of the Kyivan Church and the churches descended from it, along with that of the Protection and of the Maccabean Martyrs.

The Service for the Feast of the Translation of St Nicholas' Relics affirms that they were a source of great Grace "even in the Roman lands."

Alex

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