Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Trip to Cyprus is religious, not political, Pope reminds reporters

Catholic World News - June 04, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI emphasized that his trip to Cyprus is a pastoral rather than political visit, as he spoke with reporters who accompanied him on the June 4 flight from Rome.

Questioned about the divisions between Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus, the Holy Father declined to enter the political controversy. "I do not come with a political message but with a religious message," he said-- although he added that the religious message "should prepare more souls to find an opening for peace."

In response to another reporter's question on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla, the Pope made a similar comment, repeating that the Holy See avoids involvement in political controversies but stressing the desire for peace. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he observed, "the danger is that we will run out of patience and no longer want to search for peace."

Pope Benedict said that he was "deeply saddened" by the murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese in Turkey. But he expressed some relief that it was "not a religious or political assassination." The killing, he said, would not affect his trip to Cyprus.

The highlight of that trip will be the release of the working document, the instrumentum laboris, for the Synod on the Middle East, which will be held this October. The Pope said that the Synod would be an occasion to bring public attention to the Christian presence in the region, "so the world can see that there is a great and ancient Christianity in the Middle East." He spoke of the importance of dialogue among the different Christian churches of the region-- including the different rites of the Catholic Church-- and continuing efforts to promote peaceful coexistence with Islam.

In his informal press conference, the Pope spoke with enthusiasm about recent developments in ecumenical talks with the Orthodox world. "This is not just a coalition of political morality," he said, "but it is really something profoundly rooted in faith." He said that Catholics and Orthodox are drawn together by their common reliance on the Scriptures, the Christian tradition, and the "profession of faith drawn up by the ancient councils."

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($15,502 to go):
$35,000.00 $19,498.29
44% 56%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Renewal with God before Us: Christ Determines All 4 hours ago
Sons of Dominic Prepare for Family Synod July 29
Dominican theologians assess proposals for divorced and remarried July 29
The ‘Pope Francis effect’—changing the way the world sees the papacy July 29
Renewal with God Behind Us: Man Determines All July 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21