Deacon Andrei Psarev Politics

British help for the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1923

When in 1920 Metropolitan Anthony arrived in Athens with the Russian troops retreating from Novoroseisk he was warmly received there by Meletios (Metaxakis), at that time the archbishop there

A Big Price for Trying Megali Idea

Lord Curzon defended the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Lausanne Conference on this day in 1923.

On January 10, Lord Curzon, Chairman of the Military-Territorial Commission of the Lausanne Conference,  which dealt with the outcomes of the Greco-Turkish War, having secured the support of all Orthodox powers, in response to demands of the Turkish delegation, stated that the removal of the Patriarchate from Constantinople would cause a shock to the conscience of the entire civilized world. The Greek Prime Minister Venizelos invited the Turks to accept the Curzon’s proposal, promising to make every effort to remove his nephew Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) from the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Meletios had sullied his reputation in the eyes of the Turks by supporting the Greek party. In response, the head of the Turkish delegation, Ismet Pasha, reluctantly agreed to keep the patriarchal throne in Istanbul as long as Patriarch Meletios would be removed and, in the future, the Patriarchate would refrain from political activity.

Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitskii) supported the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate not to be sent out of Turkey to Greece along with the rest of the Greek population. He responded to the “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of the Anglican Church, Canon John Douglas, on Feb. 7/20, 1925:

“You asked my opinion about the Oecumenical Patriarchate. Can he live outside Constantinople? Of course, he can, and the inhabitants of the Capital are bound to continue to count him as their Chief Pastor and are bound to obey him as are we, our Holy Patriarch, Tikhon.” (Canon Douglas, Papers. Volume 46. Lambeth Archives. London).


Monk Benjamin (Gomarteli), “Letopis’ tserkovnykh sobytii nachinaia s 1917 goda,” Part 1:1917-1927, Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.


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