In the aftermath of the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Constantinople and the Halki seminary, Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa, in an interview for the newspaper “Ethnos”, stressed that we could talk about a leap forward, “in the direction of reopening”.
Metropolitan Elpidophoros noted that Alexis Tsipras’ visit to Halki was historic for the Greek Community of this area.
He explained that the Halki seminary is important because it does not only concern the few remaining Greeks in Constantinople. There are schools for the children of the Greeks living in Constantinople, such as the Phanar Greek Orthodox College, the Zografeion Lyceum and the Zappeion School.
“The Seminary is associated with the universality of the Patriarchate. Ιt is not confined to the narrow boundaries of the Greek diaspora, Hellenism and Orthodoxy. It has an international and inter-Christian outreach, which is why it is so important. It has always played a bridging role between confessions, Orthodox churches, patriarchs and ethnicities. We are sure that the School will be successful if reopened,” the Metropolitan of Bursa pointed out.
Referring to Greek-Turkish relations, Metropolitan Elpidophoros estimated that soon Greece and Turkey would overcome the difficulties and tensions. “There are all the preconditions for this to happen, but only dedicated labor will ensure peace. I’m optimistic,” he said.
Regarding State-Church relations and the objections raised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on constitutional revision, Metropolitan Elpidophoros said: “When there is dialogue, there will be a convergence of views.” “The convergence does not mean imposing all of our requests or points of view, no matter how fair we consider it to be. This is the true meaning of a culture of dialogue. Once the government dialogues with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in a constructive and open manner, there will certainly find a solution,” he underlined.