This unique book, composed of two lectures written by Professor Cavarnos, approaches subjects, events, and matters of importance to all Orthodox Christians. So central is the image of the Œcumenical Patriarchate, the “Great Church,” to the Orthodox that one brings to mind the importance of the Vatican to Latin Christianity, even if the Œcumenical Patriarch is not a Pope and the Phanar is not a political state like the Vatican. A tragic victim of the vicissitudes of history, this most ancient center of the Christian world—assailed even by one of the Papal Crusades, placing it under Latin domination for nearly sixty years—has been held captive for centuries by its Turkish masters: enslaved with Greece and the Balkans under Ottoman rule and imperiled today by its fragile status in the modern Turkish state. For an Orthodox scholar of Greek heritage to write with dispassion about the Great Church and Greek-Turkish relations is, therefore, a gargantuan task. Yet, as a paradigmatic gentleman, Dr. Cavarnos presents us with an absolutely impartial appraisal of the Œcumenical Patriarchate and of Greek-Turkish relations over the centuries.
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