Is what remains of one of the most ancient Christian basilicas destined to become the temple of ecumenism? The head of the Armenian Christians of Constantinople hopes for the simultaneous celebration of Christian and Muslim cults between the walls of Hagia Sophia.
For Sahak II Maşalyan, Armenian patriarch separated from Rome, “the salvation of the world is the covenant of the cross and the crescent. And the honor of manifesting such peace to the world is worthy of the Republic of Turkey,” the Fides agency reported on June 16, 2020.
Following this disarming premise—remember how the very Islamic Ottoman Empire treated Armenian Christians between 1015 and 1917—the patriarch would like Hagia Sophia to be rendered simultaneously to Christian and Muslim worship, so that “the world can applaud our religious peace and maturity.”
And the religious leader of the Armenians in Constantinople concluded: “Even though our faiths are different, don’t we believe in the same God? Having been a place of worship for Christians for 1,000 years and another 500 years for Muslims, he stated that Hagia Sophia won’t mind it.”
Some people want to see in this nauseating rhetoric a means of putting pressure on the Council of State which, on July 2, will examine the possibility of opening the Byzantine building again to the Islamic worship, which would constitute a victory for the ruling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic party, and a disturbing sign against the Christian minority.
From the height of its fifteen centuries of existence, the building completed under the emperor Justinian is believed to have seen everything: earthquakes, imperial coronations, looting, schisms, profanations of all kinds; all it needs now is to become a supermarket for ecumenism ...
But neither should we be fooled: such cohabitation cannot last; it would only be a smooth transition to Islam regaining full control of the building. And the patriarch’s bowing and scraping would not protect him from being ousted sooner or later.