Turkey rejects plea to open a church in St. Paul's birthplace
August 06, 2009
The government of Turkey has rejected a plea by Pope Benedict XVI for permission to reopen the only Catholic church in Tarsus. The church was opened to pilgrims who visited the birthplace of St. Paul during the Pauline year, but officials have now announced that it must be available for other uses. Christians will be allowed to use the church building for prayer only with prior permission, and under strict time limitations.