“The only use that respects and highlights the truth and the sacred mission of the Hagia Sophia is that of a Christian church,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a letter to Metropolitan Agathangelos of Fanari.
The Ecumenical Patriarch expresses gratitude to the Metropolitan of Fanari “for your genuine and sincere expression of love and support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate” and went on to say, among other things: “The Hagia Sophia Church as the architectural depiction of salvation of humankind and all the Creation belongs to all.” The recognition of Hagia Sophia as a world cultural heritage monument indirectly expresses this truth and is not only connected with the incomparable grandeur of the architecture with its hagiography and decoration.”
The Ecumenical Patriarch emphasizes that “no intervention in the building can conceal, alter or eliminate the message and the mission of the church, which has been said to be the architectural declaration of the Chalcedonian Creed.”
He added that “the Hagia Sophia Church belongs to all humankind. Its recognition as a world heritage site indirectly expresses this truth.”