Orthodox Men Dive for Cross in Constantinople’s Waters

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, center left, blesses men during the Epiphany ceremony, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

CONSTANTINOPLE (AP) – Dozens of Orthodox men dove into Constantinople’s cold waters to retrieve a cross to mark the baptism of Jesus Christ.

On Sunday, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I led worshippers in the Epiphany, throwing a blessed wooden cross into the Golden Horn inlet.

Michalis Voznakidis from Greece took the cross and the men kissed it before coming ashore. He said “we are here for everyone, for our religion.”

The ceremony took place after Bartholomew granted independence to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, in a historic move that has angered Russia.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Metropolitan Epiphanius I of the new church joined the Epiphany in Istanbul.

The Patriarchate in Istanbul is considered the heart of the Orthodox world and dates back to the Byzantine Empire, which collapsed when the Muslim Ottomans conquered the city in 1453.


  1. “The name Istanbul is commonly held to derive from a Medieval Greek phrase, which means “to the city” and is how Constantinople(City of Constantine) was referred to by the local Greeks. The first known name of the city is Byzantium, the name given to it at its foundation by Megarean colonists around 660 BC. “

  2. As a Greek I can’t even stomach the sight of this evil schismatic pseudo Patriarch who is destroying the unity of the Orthodox world. I went to an OCA Church today for Theophany and it so happened the Primate of the OCA, His Beatitude Tikhon, was the Chief celebrant. He declined Black Bart’s request to add the new pseudo Metropolitan of the schismatic Fener Patriarch “Church” in Kiev to the dyptichs. So have the primates of every other Orthodox Church. Good for their courage and loyalty to the true Primate of Ukraine, saintly Metropolitan Onuphry. ANAXIOS Bartholomew ANAXIOS!!

    1. Why am independent country can’t have their own independent church? I can’t understand your anger!

    2. Our Churches fo not exist by country, otherwise we would have over 100 Orthodox Churches around the world, not 15.

      And when for various reasons it is time to recognize a new one as autocephalous it is done by concensus and agreement of the heads of the 15 Orthodox Churches. Bartholomew took this action himself over the objections of the heads of the other Churches.
      Why did Bartholomew take this evil act? First he is reported to have received a $50,000,000 gift (bribe) from Ukraine’s coup neo-Nazi government. Second, he is trying to become an Orthodox Pope, and after the Ecumenical Patriarchs calling themselves the first among equals for 1500 years, this one first the first time has started calling himself the first without equal. A horrible overturning of 1500 years of how Orthodoxy understands the role of this office.
      Does this explain my anger and why I proclaim from the top of my lungs ANAXIOS to Bartholomew?

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