A Catholic Priest’s Letter to Fethullah Gülen

Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith
Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith


Date posted: October 25, 2012

In Niğde, we visited the schools of the Sungurbey Education Foundation, established by a private businessman-donor, Celal Afşar, whom we were privileged to have as our host. He is also a close colleague of Fethullah Gülen and good friend of Fr. Alexei Smith. Mr. Afşar asked Fr. Alexei to write a letter to Mr. Gülen, describing our group and the nature of our trip, which Mr. Afşar will deliver personally to him when he visits him next week in the USA.  Here are excerpts from the letter:

My Dear and Respected Dr. Fethullah Gülen,

Permit me first to extend my condolences upon the death of your brother. May his memory be eternal.

Second, allow me to introduce myself.  I am a Catholic Priest in Los Angeles, CA, serving not only as a parish priest but also as Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer of Archdiocese, which means that I direct the Catholic Church’s relations with all other faiths in our city.  Some ten years ago I had the great privilege of introducing members of the Hizmet Movement to the Interfaith Community in our area.

Since then I have actively supported and participated in activities of the Pacifica Institute in Los Angeles, attending their luncheon programs and Anatolian Festivals as well as speaking at their Friendship Dinners, not only in Los Angeles, but also in Reno and Honolulu.

I have traveled to Turkey twice before with the Pacifica Institute and am currently in Niğde with them again,m visiting my friend Celal Afşar, and it is at his suggestion that I write you today.

I want to share with you the glad tidings that twelve of us Catholic Priests, in partnership with Pacifica Institute, have come to Turkey — some for the first time — to experience the rich Christian past and present here, as well as to learn about the Hizmet Movement, its schools and members, and its approach to interfaith dialogue. Some of these priests have had very limited experience with Muslims, and all of us have, of course, been exposed to the very negative stereotypical image of your faith that is all-too-often presented in our media. But now, having been exposed to the very positive image of Islam that the Hizmet movement presents, these priests are discovering much that is deeply meaningful to them in their own lives and ministries.  This visit brings us all a new understanding and our attitudes are being transformed.  All thanks to the members of the Hizmet Movement here and in Los Angeles, whom I commend highly.

It is my firm belief that Catholics and Muslims together have a great deal to offer the world with our shared moral values and concerns for social justice, as well as our dedication to quality education available to all without exception. This has been abundantly manifested in the schools we are visiting during our stay here in Turkey.

We are brothers and sisters in the One Creator, and as such have a responsibility to work together for the greater good of all humankind.

I assure you of my prayers for you, and I ask yours for us.  I further assure you that I — and I believe many of those who are journeying here together — will continue to partner with and support the Hizmet Movement in its endeavors for Interreligious Dialogue and acceptance of others created in the image and likeness of the One God.

Peace be upon you.

Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith
Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

fr.-alexei-smith

Source: http://prieststurkey.wordpress.com/


Related News

Fethullah Gulen responds to videocassette allegations

March 28, 2013 A TV channel started a defamation of Fethullah Gulen in June 1999 in Turkey based on a montage videocassette. Below is an phone interview with Mr. Gulen by famous anchor Reha Muhtar of Show TV. Gulen in this interview answers all the accusations such as penetrating the state institutions, bringing Sharia to […]

Turkic American Alliance’s iftar brought diplomats together in Washington DC

The Turkic American Alliance (TAA), which is an umbrella organization with more than 200 member organizations, and its component organization Rumi Forum came together to host a Ramadan Iftar for many dignitaries in the Washington, D.C. area on Tuesday, July 30th. Several ambassadors, congressmen, diplomats and leaders of the Turkic community and organizations attended the dinner.

BBC Interviews Fethullah Gulen (Powerful but reclusive Turkish cleric)

Tim Franks – BBC Newshour, Pennsylvania – Speaking to the BBC’s Newshour, Fethullah Gulen said: “It is not possible for these judges and prosecutors to receive orders from me.” – Fethullah Gulen has been called Turkey’s second most powerful man. He is also a recluse, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US. – But now, […]

Indialogue’s Iftar Dinner: Role of Religions in Empowering Women

In collaboration with Sarva Dharma Samvaad (SDS) and Interfaith Foundation, Indialogue Foundation organised the Annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner. The success of this event left us with enormous motivation to continue this tradition of bringing people together.

Fethullah Gulen’s message to the “Ijma” symposium

Fethullah Gulen sent a message to the symposium entitled “Ijma as a Common Roadmap and Collective Awareness” which took place on April 27-28 in Istanbul. Gulen’s message received a standing ovation in the hall that a large number of guests crowded into. In the message, read aloud at the symposium in presence of a large number […]

Fethullah Gulen’s Statement on Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

I am shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific attack against the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. It is heartbreaking to see such a tragedy happen at a place of worship. I strongly condemn this hate-driven attack on the worshippers.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

My Father, Academic, Arrested In Turkey Purge

Abant Africa forum: Freedom of Speech and Respect to Sacred

British politician Duff: So easy for some Turkish media to misreport

Vague terrorism charge used to target supporters of the Gülen movement: UN special rapporteurs

Kimse Yok Mu to launch 1000 “field schools” project in Africa

You couldn’t meet a nicer bunch of people: answer to defamation

Turkey’s Purge Could Cause a Massive Brain Drain

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News