"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

Thursday 23 August 2012


The Monastery of Saint Bartholomew (Armenian: Սուրբ Բարթողոմէօս Վանք) was built in the fourth century at the site of the martyrdom of the Apostle Bartholomew. The burial site of the Apostle Bartholomew was inside of the Cathedral, which was an important pilgrimage place for Armenians before the genocide. It is located in what was then the Vaspurakan Province of Greater Armenia, now near the town of Başkale (Albayrak) in the Van Province of southeastern Turkey.

The monastery was built on the traditional site of the martyrdom of the Apostle Bartholomew[1] who is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the first century. Along with Saint Thaddeus, Saint Bartholomew is considered the patron saint of the Armenian Church.

At an unknown date after the Armenian Genocide in the early 20th century, the monastery came under the control of the Turkish military and its entire site now lies within an army base. The dome of its church was still intact in the early 1960's, but the whole structure is now heavily ruined.

The monastery St. Bartholomew partly was destroyed by the Turkish army using explosives in the 1960s under the Turkish state-sponsored policy of cultural genocide of Armenian monuments. The main Cathedral currently is in ruins and it is turned into a military installation near the Turkish town Albayrak. It is also strictly prohibited to take photos of the monastery and come close to the standing ruins of the Armenian temple because of the regime of high security around the site.

Turkish armed forces still practices using the ruins or preserved constructions of the Armenian churches and temples as a military installations and stores.

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