CWN - Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople left Turkey just hours before the abortive coup this past weekend, prompting rumors that he had been warned of the attempt of oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But a spokesman said that the Patriarch's travel plans-- to Slovenia, for a vacation-- had been set weeks in advance.

Patriarch Bartholomew heard about the attempted coup soon after arriving in Slovenia, and attempted to fly home immediately. But he could not return, because the would-be rebels had closed Ataturk airport in Istanbul. 

The Interfax news agency in Russia has carried reports of the Orthodox Patriarch's last-minute departure from Turkey, along with the explanation from the Constantinople patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church, which has vied with the Constantinople patriarchate for leadership of the world's Orthodox churches, may take a special interest in criticism of Patriarch Bartholomew. 

References:


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

But if a person is constantly mindful of God, he will rejoice: as the psalmist says, "I remembered God, and I rejoiced" (Psalms 77:3). For when the intellect is gladdened by the remembrance of God, then it forgets the afflictions of this world, places its hope in Him, and is no longer troubled or anxious.

St. Peter of Damaskos, "JOY" (from "The 24 Discourses), "The Philokalia vol. III," - pp. 260 - 263.