With The Dominicans In Istanbul

This is the most interesting "backgrounder" on Turkey I've seen. Dr. Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican reports Greek Catholics having troubles with the Turks:
I spend a considerable time talking with members of the American Greek Orthodox group I had seen the day before at Halki. The members are known as "Archons" because they support the Greek Orthodox patriarchate in Istanbul; without their support, it might vanish. (The comparable term for Catholics might be "Knights"). They represent the wealthy, committed leadership of the Greek Orthodox community in the US, and have come to Istanbul especially for these historic days. They will have special access to some ceremonies, and I wonder if they might find a way to include me.
But they are having difficulties, too. The Turkish government doesn't like the fact they are using the word "Ecumenical" to describe the Orthodox Patriarchate, and is threatening to void their credentials if they don't remove the word.
And his meeting with four Dominican experts on Muslim-Christian relations who've given their lives for the East.
Have you read the book From the Holy Mountain?" Father Lawlor asks. "It's the story of a journey from Mount Athos around the eastern Mediterranean toward Alexandria. Every place the author goes he finds monasteries which once housed 300 monks, convents which once housed 200 nuns, kept alive by a handful of religious, sometimes only one. The Christian presence in the Middle East is dying.
"Have you ever come to an old house where you and members of your family once lived, only to find it abandoned and decaying? That is the situation of the Christian churches in the Middle East. It is the end of a tradition. It is very sad.
"But it is a beautiful book, very well done, very moving. You must read it."

They're in a neighborhood that used to be Greek, but now they've fled, replaced by Iraqi Christians fleeing worse circumstances:
The children are very excited that the pope is coming, but they are lamenting the fact that they will not have an opportunity to pray with him. I was talking to some of them yesterday. They wanted to enter the church with him, but there is no room; they will have to stay outside. They will go to the Church of St. Anthony of Padua up the street, and watch on a big screen."
And the most intriguing remark, from an Irish priest who's been years and years in Iran:
Hundreds of Muslims come here each day to light candles and pray," Father Lawlor says. "You know, many of them venerate the saints, and the Blessed Virgin. In Iran, where I have worked since the 1970s, there would be a million new Christians overnight, if it were not for the present government. Iran is the pearl of great price. It is so beautiful there, and the people are so wonderful. But if you find the pearl of great price, and decide to buy it, you have to give everything you have, keeping nothing back. You cannot imagine how one suffers there."