NEW YORK - Today, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America announced that he will be traveling to Washington , DC early next week to confer with governmental officials about the plight of the Patriarchal Theological School of Halki. Yesterday, the Archbishop spoke at length with Congressman Ben Gilman (NY), and expressed his deep concern over the dismissal of the Board of Trustees. Congressman Gilman was one of the principle architects of the legislation and Sense of the Congress resolution, which is repeated below:
It is the sense of Congress that the United States should use its influence with the Government of Turkey to suggest that the Government of Turkey -
- recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its nonpolitical, religious mission;
- ensure the continued maintenance of the institutions physical security needs, as provided for under Turkish and international law, including the Treaty of Lausanne, the 1968 Protocol, the Helsinki Final Act (1975), and the Charter of Paris;
- provide for the proper protection and safety of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Patriarchate personnel; and
- reopen the Ecumenical Patriarchates Halki Patriarchal School of Theology.
In addition, the Archbishop has remained in communication with Assistant Secretary of State Mark Grossman, the former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. In a conversation with him today, the Archbishop stressed the importance of the United States Government standing firmly by this legislation and the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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