As it was said in a post about Koran, without the Patriarchate Constantinople today would be just an overcrowded Turkish habitation, a city essentially similar to any other Turkish city, with nothing comparable even a little with the significance of Byzantium.
The Patriarchate faces three options: first, Turkey enters the European Union and freedom reigns everywhere; second, Turkey decides or is obliged to respect Orthodoxy, even without entering the EU; third, the Patriarchate moves to a friendly country, most probably Greece.
The second option can not be excluded, but the Orthodox community in Constantinople has already suffered much, and is now going to disappear entirely, i.e., the Patriarchate has no time to experiment with Turkey’s intentions or wait for the interest of the international community, already proven weak.
Between the remaining two options, Patriarch Vartholomeos chose the first, thinking, I suppose, that away from Constantinople the Patriarchate would suffer a loss of its esteem and Orthodoxy would be in danger of losing to some degree its memory and identity.
The important question then is: Orthodoxy and Christianity in general will lose less in a multicultural European Union than in a European Union where the Patriarchate is at Thessaloniki? Of course the European nations can choose the multicultural kind of ‘life’ anyway, but now we focus on the Patriarchate’s decision to support this kind of ‘life’.
I wonder: if Europe’s memory weakens enough to create a faceless mixture instead of a European Union, how will the Patriarchate be able to strengthen the Christian memory just by being in Constantinople? There is some paradox here, to support Christianity by going against it, to want the strengthening of an identity that we advise to be lost!