Divine Liturgy Under Turkish Guns
On this day, the minaret and all the surrounding rooftops are occupied by Turkish soldiers. They look down upon us in the courtyard and glare. There is security and insecurity in their presence: they will assuredly protect us from any Islamist who would seek to wreak mayhem -- though none, not even unfriendly crowds, are in evidence -- and they are assuredly not our friends. The Patriarch himself, Bartholomew I, once served in the Turkish Army, in keeping with the Turkish state's stricture that the occupant of that office must hold Turkish citizenship. I looked up at the soldiery, and reflected on the pity of this state, which he served, that is now bent upon squeezing his ancient office out of existence.