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H.R. 2 Enrolled

             1     

ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH HOUSE

             2     
RESOLUTION

             3     
2009 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Chief Sponsor: Gregory H. Hughes

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This resolution of the House of Representatives urges the Government of Turkey to
             10      grant the Ecumenical Patriarch international recognition and to respect the property
             11      rights and human rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This resolution:
             14          .    urges the Government of Turkey to grant the Ecumenical Patriarch appropriate
             15      international recognition, ecclesiastical succession, and the right to train clergy of
             16      all nationalities; and
             17          .    urges the Government of Turkey to respect the property rights and human rights of
             18      the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
             19      Special Clauses:
             20          None
             21     
             22      Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the state of Utah:
             23          WHEREAS, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is the Sacred
             24      See that presides in a spirit of brotherhood over a communion of self-governing churches of
             25      the Orthodox Christian world;
             26          WHEREAS, the See is led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is the 269th in
             27      direct succession to the Apostle Andrew and holds titular primacy as primus inter pares,
             28      meaning "first among equals," in the community of Orthodox churches worldwide;
             29          WHEREAS, in 1994, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, along with leaders of the


             30      Appeal of Conscience Foundation, cosponsored the Conference on Peace and Tolerance,
             31      which brought together Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders for an interfaith
             32      dialogue to help end the Balkan conflict and the ethnic conflict in the Caucasus region;
             33          WHEREAS, in 1997, the United States Congress awarded Ecumenical Patriarch
             34      Bartholomew the Congressional Gold Medal;
             35          WHEREAS, following the terrorist attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001,
             36      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gathered a group of international religious leaders to
             37      produce the first joint statement with Muslim leaders that condemned the attacks as
             38      "antireligious";
             39          WHEREAS, in October 2005, the Ecumenical Patriarch, along with Christian, Jewish,
             40      and Muslim leaders, cosponsored the Conference on Peace and Tolerance II to further promote
             41      peace and stability in southeastern Europe, the Caucasus region, and Central Asia via religious
             42      leaders' interfaith dialogue, understanding, and action;
             43          WHEREAS, the Orthodox Christian Church, in existence for nearly 2,000 years,
             44      numbers approximately 300 million members worldwide with more than 2 million members in
             45      the United States;
             46          WHEREAS, since 1453, the continuing presence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in
             47      Turkey has been a living testament to the religious coexistence of Christians and Muslims;
             48          WHEREAS, this religious coexistence is in jeopardy because the Ecumenical
             49      Patriarchate is considered a minority religion by the Turkish government;
             50          WHEREAS, the Government of Turkey has limited the candidates available to hold the
             51      office of Ecumenical Patriarch to only Turkish nationals;
             52          WHEREAS, from the millions of Orthodox Christians living in Turkey at the turn of
             53      the 20th century and due to the continued policies during this period by the Turkish
             54      government, there remain less than 3,000 of the Ecumenical Patriarch's flock left in Turkey
             55      today;
             56          WHEREAS, the Government of Turkey closed the Theological School on the island of
             57      Halki in 1971 and has refused to allow it to reopen, thus impeding training for Orthodox


             58      Christian clergy;
             59          WHEREAS, the Turkish government has confiscated nearly 94% of the Ecumenical
             60      Patriarchate's properties and has placed a 42% tax, retroactive to 1999, on the Baloukli
             61      Hospital and Home for the Aged, a charity hospital run by the Ecumenical Patriarchate;
             62          WHEREAS, the European Union, a group of nations with a common goal of
             63      promoting peace and the well-being of its peoples, began accession negotiations with Turkey
             64      on October 3, 2005;
             65          WHEREAS, the European Union defined membership criteria for accession at the
             66      Copenhagen European Council in 1993, obligating candidate countries to achieve certain
             67      levels of reform, including stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, adherence to the
             68      rule of law, and respect for and protection of minorities and human rights;
             69          WHEREAS, the Turkish government's current treatment of the Ecumenical
             70      Patriarchate is inconsistent with the membership conditions and goals of the European Union;
             71          WHEREAS, Orthodox Christians in Utah and throughout the United States stand to
             72      lose their spiritual leader because of the continued actions of the Turkish government; and
             73          WHEREAS, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Order of St. Andrew
             74      the Apostle, a group of laymen who each have been honored with a patriarchal title, or
             75      "offikion," by the Ecumenical Patriarch for their outstanding service to the Orthodox Church,
             76      will send an American delegation to Turkey to meet with Turkish government officials, as well
             77      as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, regarding the Turkish
             78      government's treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
             79          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the
             80      state of Utah urges the Government of Turkey to uphold and safeguard religious and human
             81      rights without compromise and cease its discrimination of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
             82          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the state of Utah
             83      urges the Government of Turkey to grant the Ecumenical Patriarch appropriate international
             84      recognition, ecclesiastic succession, and the right to train clergy of all nationalities, and to
             85      respect the property rights and human rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.


             86          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of
             87      the United States, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United
             88      States House of Representatives, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, the
             89      Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the United States, and to the members of Utah's
             90      congressional delegation.


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