10/26/2006, 00.00
TURKEY – VATICAN
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Turkish edition of "I believe", synthesis of Catholic Catechism for papal visit

This is an initiative by Aid to the Church in Need, which sees the papal trip and talks about Turkey's EU entry as opportunities to call for full respect for religious freedom in that country. Mgr Padovese said the Pope is going to talk to Muslims, and especially to the Orthodox.

Königstein (AsiaNews) – A Turkish edition of "I Believe", a syntesis of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, will be published by Aid to the Church in Need to mark the visit of Benedict XVI (28 November – 1 December). The initiative was announced on the sidelines of a meeting in Königstein, Germany, by Mgr Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar for Anatolia.

Mgr Padovese said: "The Pope is not going to Turkey as a missionary, as the local press is loudly claiming, but to talk to Muslims, to the Turkish government and naturally to Catholics, but especially to the Orthodox." The vicar for Anatolia also underlined the importance of the "lectio" of Pope Ratzinger in Regensburg, saying it should be viewed as an appeal to dialogue, and the lack of respect for religious freedom in Turkey.

The pope's visit as well as negotiations about Turkey's entry into the European Union could be opportunities, according to Aid to the Church in Need, to request that religious freedom be brought in line with European standards and to tackle the issues of property and formation of the clergy. Aid to the Church in Need said the Catholic Church and Christians generally did not have the right to build churches and other buildings since a restrictive law was passed in 1923. Residence permits for foreign priests depend on the goodwill of the authorities. There is no seminary to form future priests in the country. The killing of Don Andrea Santoro in February bears witness to the reality of open or hidden attacks against priests.

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