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Turkey could be bridge between Islam and West, Pope tells new envoy

January 07, 2010

As he welcomed a new ambassador from Turkey to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI said that the country could serve as “a bridge between Islam and the West,” thus serving the cause of peace—especially peace in the Middle East. The Pope reminded the new ambassador, Kenan Gursoy, of the coming 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Turkey, and of his own visit to that country in 2006.

Pope Benedict saluted the Turkish constitution for its guarantee of freedom of religion. But he pushed gently for greater acceptance of religious groups, observing pointedly that “the Catholic Church in Turkey is waiting for civil juridical recognition.”


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