Thursday, January 07, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City, Jan 7, 2010 / 11:31 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI accepted the credentials of a new ambassador from Turkey to the Holy See on Thursday morning. The Pontiff took advantage of the occasion to make a plea to the Turkish government to give Catholics expanded rights in the country, which, according to a parish priest in Istanbul, can be quite limited.
"The Catholics in Turkey appreciate the freedom of worship that is guaranteed by the Constitution, and are pleased to be able to contribute to the well-being of their fellow citizens, especially through involvement in charitable activity and healthcare," said the Pontiff of the current climate within the Eurasian country.
But, the Holy Father informed Dr. Kenan Gürsoy, the new ambassador from Turkey, "the Catholic Church in Turkey is waiting for civil juridical recognition" that "would help her to enjoy full religious freedom and to make an even greater contribution to society."
From Catholic World News, "Turkey could be bridge between Islam and West, Pope tells new envoy"
From News 24 South Africa, "Pope: Turkey bridge to Islam"