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Friday, January 8, 2010

Pope Calls Turkey "bridge between Islam and the West"

ZE10010709 - 2010-01-07
Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-27985?l=english

Pope Urges Full Religious Freedom in Turkey: Notes Nation's Role as Bridge Between Islam and West

Excerpt from the article:

In his address to the nation's ambassador, the Holy Father said his trip
was the first as Pope to a "predominantly Islamic country," and that he was
grateful for the opportunity to "express my esteem for Muslims." He said that during his visit to Turkey he was also able to "reiterate the commitment of the
Catholic Church to carry forward interreligious dialogue in a spirit of mutual
respect and friendship, bearing joint witness to the firm faith in God that
characterizes Christians and Muslims, and striving to know one another better so
as to strengthen the bonds of affection between us." "It is my fervent prayer
that this process will lead to greater trust between individuals, communities,
and peoples, especially in the troubled areas of the Middle East," Benedict XVI
added. The Pope called Turkey, a secular democratic state that is geographically
placed between Europe and Asia, a "bridge between Islam and the West." He said
the country is perfectly situation "to make a significant contribution to the
effort to bring peace and stability to the Middle East."