His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel told the Ecumenical Patriarch that the Romanian Patriarchate supports the preservation of the current status of the Hagia Sophia Basilica in Constantinople (Istanbul).
The status of this symbol for Christianity is being re-discussed in Turkey. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has asked the Turkish authorities to keep the current museum status for the UNESCO monument.
Please find below the full text of the communiqué issued by the Department for External Church Relations.
Press release on the status of Hagia Sophia: full text
On July 8, 2020, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel sent a letter to His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome, in which he expressed the Romanian Patriarchate’s support for maintaining the current status of a museum of the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople (Istanbul).
The initiative of the Romanian Patriarchate takes into account the inestimable value of this basilica, unanimously recognized as a symbol of Christian faith and civilization and of universal art, which determined its inclusion in the universal cultural heritage of UNESCO in 1985.
In this context, the Patriarch of Romania expresses his solidarity with all those who defend this symbol of the universal Orthodox Church.
Through the action of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the members of the Holy Synod, the clergy and the entire Romanian people as believers in Romania express concrete support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in defence of the current status of the Hagia Sophia cathedral.
Department for church and inter-religious relations, and external church communities
Photography courtesy of Ecumenical Patriarchate / Nikos Papachristou