The Ecumenical Patriarch sent letters of appreciation to the Metropolitans who have publicly and vigorously intervened against Erdogan’s decision to turn the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. One of them is the Metropolitan Ignatius of Demitriados.
Patriarch Bartholomew states in his letter that “only the use of this magnificent sacred building as a Christian church corresponds to its essence and its redemptive testimony. In this sacred space, everything praises Christ, The Incarnated Word and The Beginning of All things. This truth, which is the core of the Christian faith in the Triune God, is rejected by Islam. The Muslim faithful prayed after the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, for 481 years, inside a Christian church, in a Christian atmosphere, in general and not only because of the icons which were covered. The only use that respects and highlights the truth and the sacred mission of the Hagia Sophia is that of a Christian church”.
The Head of Orthodoxy, Patriarch Bartholomew, emphasizes that “the Temple of the Godly Wisdom proclaims, in a unique way, that Christian church building is an insurmountable theological language, which through architectural inspiration orthodoxly expresses the faith of the Church in the Triune God, in the redemptive incarnation of The Word of God and in the eschatological fulfillment and fullness of the Divine Economy in the Kingdom of God “.
At the same time, he emphasizes that “no intervention in the building can overlap, alter or disappear the message and the mission of the Temple, which has been clearly stated, that it is the architectural formulation of the doctrine of Chalcedon”.