Cardinal Bertone presents the pope’s visit to Turkey

Source: FSSPX News


The new Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appearing on the Italian TV channel Rai 2, on October 24, has stated that the voyage of Benedict XVI to Turkey would mark “a new stage” in interreligious dialogue. The wish “of the pope, the Holy See and the Catholic Church” is to “continue” the interreligious and intercultural dialogue, he said.

The Roman prelate referred to the lecture by Benedict XVI at Regensburg University on September 12, which was, “a strong appeal to put God back into the heart of our thinking, of our personal and social life, and an appeal for collaboration between the Christian and Islamic religions in order to share and emphasize our joint moral objectives which we cannot abandon in this modern world.” This speech was “a great fresco, which our theologian pope knows how to do so well; dialogue between faith and reason, between religions – not only the Christian religion – and human reason.” “Beyond the impressions and appraisals which have been formulated, this appeal for dialogue remains the fundamental point and the fundamental intention of the pope in this important address,” he insisted.

 During the television broadcast, Cardinal Bertone also confirmed that the visit to Turkey “will go ahead”, and that “there was no reason why it should not”; he recalled the “centuries and centuries of peaceful cohabitation” between different religions, “in Iraq, for example. “Our intention is “to give new impetus to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue,” he said.

 The pope’s visit to Turkey will be “an occasion for dialogue and meetings with religious representatives and political leaders,” he said, referring to the meetings of the pope with “the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, the Turkish authorities and other Muslim leaders,” between November 19 and December 1, 2006.

 The pope’s intention is that “of dialogue, and in particular with Islam,” he stressed. The message which the Holy See sends each year “to our Muslim brothers” at the end of Ramadan is the sign “of an unceasing wish to continue dialogue and collaboration, with an eye to common objectives, ideals and values shared by the Christian religion and the Islamic religion.”

 This year, the message from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, sent at the end of Ramadan, was officially presented at the Holy See Press Office on October 20, in the presence of Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the dicastery, Mgr. Pier Luigi Celata and Mgr. Felix Anthony Machado, the secretary and under-secretary of the same council as well as Mgr. Khaled Aksahed, with special responsibility in the dicastery for relations with Islam. This new initiative will be accompanied by the presentation of the new edition of Interreligious dialogue in the official teaching of the Catholic Church from Vatican Council II to John Paul II (1963-2005), issued by the Vatican Library.

 Catholics and Muslims can and must “share the themes which concern everyone and which are essential for the destiny and the future of humanity,” continued the Secretary of State of the Holy See, “the defense of the value of life, the defense of moral values. We think also of the problem of the family, even if there are differing concepts of the family”. – It is true that it would be difficult to put Christian marriage on a par with Muslim polygamy! (Ed.)