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    » 12/06/2006, 00.00


    Pope: In mosque I prayed to the one God for all mankind

    In today’s general audience, Benedict XVI recalled his prayer in Istanbul, not foreseen but very meaningful, and he augured that secular Turkey will guarantee full religious freedom and become a bridge of friendship between East and West. From Istanbul, Bartholomew I said he was sure the apostolic journey would bear fruit for dialogue among Christians.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The prayer in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque was “not initially planned but it turned out to be very meaningful”. It was a prayer to the “one Lord of heaven and earth, merciful father of all mankind”. Addressing today’s general audience, this was how Benedict XVI described his silent prayer on 30 November in Istanbul.

    The Pope “thanked divine Providence for this” and said: “May all believers identify themselves with the one God and bear witness to true brotherhood.”

    The Pontiff augured that Turkey “will be a bridge of friendship and collaboration between East and West” and he thanked the Turkish people “for the cordiality and sympathy” they showed him throughout his stay, when “he felt loved and understood”.

    For Benedict XVI, in secular Turkey, “the distinction between civil and religious spheres constitutes a principle and the State should guarantee effective religious freedom.” At the same time, he continued, “Christians and Muslims should collaborate together on issues like justice, peace and life.”

    The Pope then prayed to God, so that He may “help the Turkish people, their rulers and representatives of different religions to build a future of peace together” and so that He may “make this apostolic journey fruitful and animate across the world the Church’s mission to announce to all nations the Gospel of truth, peace and love.”

    The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, dwelt on the same subject during a speech delivered after last Sunday’s function. He said: “We are sure that the voyage of the Holy Father to the Ecumenical Patriarchate will bear fruits for dialogue between Christian churches, especially between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and more generally to inter-religious dialogue. This real improvement in our ties will contribute to peace on our planet.”

    The Ecumenical Patriarchate, he added, “has long been an initiator and promoter of dialogue between religions and civilizations: it sees with great satisfaction the desire for improvement in interpersonal relations worldwide.”

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    See also

    30/11/2006 VATICAN – TURKEY
    In Istanbul's Blue Mosque the Pope prays for the brotherhood of humankind
    In a relaxed atmosphere following weeks of tensions and fears that accompanied the Pope's arrival, Benedict XVI also visits Saint Sophia and the Armenian cathedral. Now it is time to wait for reactions in the Muslim world. From our special correspondent.

    01/12/2006 VATICAN – TURKEY
    Pope back from Turkey pleased with progress in dialogue
    The prayer in the Blue Mosque shows respect for Islam and should improve the situation of Christians living in Muslim countries. Reactions in the ecumenical Patriarchate to the visit are positive in terms of long-term ecumenism.

    17/09/2006 TURKEY – VATICAN
    Pope's trip at risk as Turkey becomes less secular
    The controversy surrounding the Pope's speech on the relationship between Islam and violence seems to have been planned to bolster Turkey's fundamentalist nationalism. Turkish Christians call on moderate Muslims to speak out if they don't want their country to betray Atatürk's legacy and democracy.

    20/03/2013 VATICAN
    Pope "determined" to continue towards Christian unity
    Audience with fraternal delegations of the Christian Churches and other religious confessions present yesterday at mass for the beginning of his pontificate. For the Catholic Church, ecumenism is a "duty". The "very special spiritual bond" that binds Christians to Jews. Twice repeated to Muslims "the importance of the promotion of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions." Non-believers who seek the truth "our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man."

    09/05/2009 VATICAN-JORDAN
    Pope wears shoes in mosque visit, as he was told to
    A thick carpet was laid on the pavement for him to walk upon. Meeting in the evening with priests, religious and laity of the Oriental Catholic Churches, Benedict XVI encouraged them to witness their faith, even outside the Christian community. Parents’ concern for their children “troubled by the negative influences so pervasive in our globalized world, including the destructive elements within the entertainment industry”.

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