Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Benedict update

  • Pope Preaches Brotherhood on Turkey Trip: ANKARA, Turkey - Pope Benedict XVI began his first visit to a Muslim country Tuesday with a message of dialogue and "brotherhood" between faiths, and Turkey's chief Islamic cleric said at a joint appearance that growing "Islamophobia" hurts all Muslims. "The so-called conviction that the sword is used to expand Islam in the world and growing Islamophobia hurts all Muslims," Bardakoglu said at a joint appearance. Benedict also said guarantees of religious freedom are essential for a just society. His comments could be reinforced later during the four- day visit when the pope meets in Istanbul with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians. The pope is expected to call for greater rights and protections for Christian minorities in the Muslim world, including the tiny Greek Orthodox community in Turkey.
  • Turks haunted by Muslim teen's fatal shooting of Catholic priest: TRABZON, Turkey -- The Rev. Andrea Santoro knelt in prayer at a pew in the rear of his church. The Bible on the nearby lectern lay open at the Book of John, Chapter 16, in which Jesus tells his disciples of his forthcoming death -- and the challenges they will face after he is gone. "The hour is coming," Jesus warns them, "when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God." As Santoro prayed, 15-year-old Oguzhan Akdin stepped toward the front door of the Santa Maria Catholic church and once inside, the Turkish boy raised his handgun and shot the kneeling priest twice. The boy turned and ran. The priest collapsed on the marble floor of the church, dying almost instantly."
  • Would-be John Paul assassin asks to meet Pope: "I (Mehmet Ali Agca) asked the Turkish government to release me for one day so that I can discuss theological issues with (Pope) Ratzinger," Agca said in comments passed on by his lawyer Mustafa Demirbag at a news conference.
  • Vatican fears Pope could be a genuine target for murder: "The Pope has refused repeated requests to wear a bullet-proof vest ... A Vatican source said: 'Security staff suggested to the Holy Father that for safety’s sake he should consider wearing a bullet proof vest but he dismissed the idea immediately.'"
  • Christians in Turkey frustrated by popular distrust: ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Christian pastor Behnan Konutgan knows a little about religious tolerance in Turkey. "This year we have seen rising prejudice against Christians. Islamic and nationalistic sentiment is growing, probably because of the Iraq War, and people are angry," he said in his office, with no sign, hidden away in a rundown district of old Istanbul. "We are not able to open schools or train priests. This is something that the state must do and reforms are under way but the foundations law does not go very far," said Father Francois Yakan, the patriarchal vicar of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
  • BENEDICT XVI: "MY TRIP IS NOT POLITICAL BUT PASTORAL": Speaking to the journalists accompanying him on his flight, the Pope affirmed that his visit to Turkey "is not political but pastoral," and that its aim is "dialogue and the shared commitment to peace." As he descended from his aircraft, the Holy Father was greeted by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey, by the governor of the local region, and by the military commander and the mayor of Ankara, the capital of Turkey, a city of some five million inhabitants. Also there to greet him was Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini O.F.M. Cap., of Izmir, president of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of Turkey. The Holy Father then went to a room within the airport building where he held a meeting with the prime minister. Following this meeting, which lasted 20 minutes, the Pope travelled by car to the Mausoleum of Ataturk some 45 kilometers from the city.
    Nov. 28 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI visited the tomb of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, on Tuesday, November 28, shortly after his arrival in the country. In the "Golden Book" that is kept on the site for comments by distinguished visitors, Pope Benedict wrote in English: "In this land, a meeting point among different cultures and religions and a bridge between Europe and Asia, I willingly make my own the words of the founder of the Turkish republic, expressing the wish for 'peace at home and peace in the world.'"
  • POPE ARRIVES IN TURKEY FOR HIGH-STAKES VISIT: Sitting under a large portrait of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, the Pope and the Turkish prime minister spoke for about 20 minutes. The Pontiff reportedly asked for Erdogan's help in the cause of dialogue between cultures, and the Turkish leader replied that his government was committed to that cause. Immediately after their airport meeting, Erdogan flew to Latvia for a meeting of NATO leaders, while the Pope traveled in a bulletproof car to the mausoleum of Ataturk.
  • POPE BENEDICT XVI ARRIVES IN TURKEY, “A BRIDGE BETWEEN ASIA AND EUROPE”: ... The two heads of state shook hands and processed from the plane on a red carpet. "I want to express happiness to see you and your delegation in our country," Erdogan told the Pope. He described the Pope's visit as "very meaningful."
    "I really wanted to come to Turkey because Turkey has become a bridge ... between the religions," Benedict reportedly told the Prime Minister through an interpreter.
  • In Turkey, Benedict XVI Becomes a Defender of Freedom (Sandro Magister, 11/29/06): And he appeals that “the religions utterly refuse to sanction recourse to violence.” As an example of the “particular charity” between Muslims and Christians, he cites an Arab prince of the eleventh century, one esteemed by Pope Gregory VII

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