Catholic Church Seeks 'Official' Status In Turkey

January 16, 2010

Author: Luigi Sandri

Source: Ekklesia

Pope Benedict XVI has called for the Roman Catholic Church to be given legal recognition in Muslim-majority but politically secular Turkey, which has faced criticism of its treatment of religious minorities as it seeks to become a member of the European Union.

Receiving Kenan Gürsoy, the new Turkish ambassador to the Vatican, on 7 January 2009, Pope Benedict said that Catholics appreciated the freedom of worship, "guaranteed by the constitution" in Turkey. However, he added that "civil juridical recognition" would help the church, "to enjoy full religious freedom and to make an even greater contribution to society."