Fr. Alberto Ambrosio and Metropolitan Elpidophoros Lambriniadis — Spiritual Boundaries in Modern Turkey
August 2, 2012

The second show from our recent trip to Istanbul. We meet a Dominican friar whose Christianity is inspired by the mystical tradition of Islam. And, an Eastern Orthodox bishop is creating what he calls a “dialogue of life” as a religious minority in this crucible of the ancient church.

Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images


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Video Interview with Krista Tippett

In the Room with Fr. Alberto Ambrosio and Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett spoke with Fr. Alberto Ambrosio at the San Pietro di Galata monastery in a historic neighborhood in Istanbul. Watch their entire, unedited conversation from Turkey.

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About the Image

Orthodox priests get ready for the Virgin Mary service at the ancient Sumela Monastery in the Black Sea coastal province of Trabzon in northeastern Turkey. On August 15, 2010, thousands of Orthodox pilgrims from Greece, Russia, and Georgia attended the Mass, which was led by Ecumenical Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, at Sumela Monastery for the first time since 1923.

Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

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Thank you for all of these!
Would you please consider interviewing Coleman Barks?
His translations of Rumi would be a wonderful contribution to you program.
Thank you!

Your "beautiful" and poignant story about what divides and what brings us back together made me think of a poem I had written while in Seminary. Anyway, here it is:

Ibrahim’s Broken Dream
Rick Folker

His withered hand sifts through the sand,

“My descendants are like
stars that have fallen, sand scattering into a
nameless lake ...

Something causes him to wake
some voices whispering,
"Remember Isaac, Remember the Knife.

Lillith-like women laughing
they torment him,
he sobs
the desert quakes.

Looking up, he thinks he sees Hagar

“Two beloved wives, now none….

In the hot Arab sun Isaac and Ishmael from afar
Phantoms who vanish
reaching, fighting, arguing for their star.

“Why have you left us bereft of
your dream, your wish
of shalom
sinking, stinking
in your wars?"

God is weeping in his musings, thanksgivings, desperate pleadings

“I would have them together….

He presses his ear to the earth
For an answer

The nightmare, the dream resumes...

My descendants are like a broken family
Without their mother,
Scattered like the sand,
Similar beneath the sun.

“Oh”, his last cry,
“That they might be one…”

It is a paradox yet true that the devout of different faiths can, without leaving their tradition at all, understand each other, because they love the same person. For example, a Catholic monk went to the east and met a Buddhist monk on the steps of a Buddhist temple. The Buddhist monk touched is hand to his chest, and the Catholic monk did the same, and they understood each other: God, who resides in me, greets God, who resides in you.

A wonderful report on a religiously complex area. Thank you for bringing so much of the complexity out by looking at the margins.

One small correction: the Ecumenical Patriarch is not the spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Patriarch of Moscow is the spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. Unless you mean "spiritual" to mean something besides the official, liturgical, and administrative head of the church, each patriarchate has its own spiritual leader. The patriarchs are considered equals, not leaders one of another.

Just a quote we like:
"The world is richer and ultimately safer with many religions. We are more than one bound together by our limitations".

Krister Stendahl

Voices on the Radio

Lambriniadis is the Metropolitan of Bursa in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ambrosio is a Dominican friar and scholar of Sufism.

Production Credits

Host/Producer: Krista Tippett

Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss

Senior Producer: David McGuire

Technical Director/Producer: Chris Heagle

Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum

Associate Producer/Online: Susan Leem

Coordinating Producer: Stefni Bell