LAST UPDATE: 14:21
The decision not to allow the Divine Liturgy to take place at the Sumela Monastery on August 15, for the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, was taken by the Turkish authorities.
According to an announcement by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, this year there will be no Divine Liturgy on the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15) in the historic Monastery of Panagia Sumela, “because the required permission was not given by the competent government authorities”.
Diplomatic sources: The decision of the Turkish authorities on Panagia Soumela is deemed as an “extremely unpleasant development”
“The decision of the Turkish authorities not to grant permission for the performing of a liturgy at the historic Sumela Monastery on the August 15 is an extremely unpleasant development for all the believers and pilgrims who expected to visit it this year,” commented diplomatic sources and added:
“The Monastery of Panagia Soumela, which is to be included on the World Heritage List of UNESCO and which over time has been a particularly important place of religious worship for Christians everywhere and, therefore, must be protected as much as possible and be fully accessible to all.”