Encyclicals, messages and speeches from Metropolitan Gerasimos.
Stand Up For Religious Freedom: Take Action Today!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!
We are all aware of the plight of our Ecumenical Patriarchate and the challenges faced by our Mother Church regarding religious freedom. One of the major obstacles we have encountered is the forced closure of the Orthodox Theological School of Halki by the Turkish government for the past 40 years.
Most recently, President Barack Obama stated to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that he was “pleased to hear of his decision to reopen the Halki seminary.” However since that time, Turkish officials made clear that the government of Turkey has no plans to reopen the school. In addition, Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bagis stated that “negotiations are stuck”.
It is important that we, as Orthodox Christians, be united in our message to President Obama and Congress regarding this situation, and that the immediate support and intervention of our government is necessary. Please click on this link: www.hellenicleaders.com/OpenHalki and follow the instructions to submit a letter directly to the President encouraging swift action on this important matter. A minimum of 5,000 letters is needed within the next two weeks, so your prompt attention is most appreciated.
Halki was a renowned theological institution that has been very important to the leadership of the Orthodox Church throughout the world. This is the place where many esteemed Bishops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs have been educated, and we are now being deprived of the opportunity to utilize this school which rightfully belongs to the Orthodox Church.
It is my fervent prayer that, through the power of our Resurrected Lord, the doors of Halki will be opened once again for the perpetuation and preservation of our most precious Orthodox faith.
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco