Russian Orthodox Synod: ‘Pain and sorrow for Saint Sophia’

Light of Truth

The Holy Synod of the Ru-ssian Orthodox Church “expre-sses its profound regret over the decision of the state leader-ship of Turkey to revoke the museum status of Hagia Sophia and to give it to the Muslim community for public worship.” The Orthodox clergy of Mos-cow wrote in a statement approved after a session of the Synod, which took place between 16 and 17 July. The decision, reads the text, “was taken with no regard for the petitions and explicit position of the Primates and hierarchs of the Orthodox Local Churches, representatives of foreign states, numer-ous international non-governmental and human rights organisations, and clerics of various confe-ssions and religious traditions.”

This choice, it continues, “has hurt religious feelings of millions of Christians all over the world, which can cause disturbance of interfaith balance and impair mutual understand-ing between Christians and Muslims both in and beyond Turkey.” “The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is inviting all Christians and people of goodwill to join in a Day of Mourning on July 24 for Hagia Sophia,” the US Conference of Catholic Bishops tweeted. “They have asked that every Church toll its bells, every flag be raised to half-mast and that the Akathist Hymn is chanted or the rosary recited in the evening.”

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