Turkey: The Muslim state invites Benedict XVI for 2006.

Source: FSSPX News

On September 8, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians, told journalists that the pope, being the head of the State of the City of the Vatican, could not go to Istanbul without the "agreement" of the Turkish government. 

With the expectation of a positive agreement for the Fall of 2005, the Cardinal had confirmed "the intention of the Holy Father to go there in  answer the invitation extended by the Orthodox Patriarch".

Since then, the head of the Turkish state, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, has invited Benedict XVI for an official visit to Turkey in 2006. The invitation was made public on September 15, by a communiqué from the Turkish foreign office. Turkey "watches the efforts made by Benedict XVI to strengthen dialogue and tolerance between religions". In this context, the president, in order to contribute to his efforts for the promotion of dialogue between civilizations (…) has invited Pope Benedict XVI for an official visit in 2006."

The invitation from the Muslim state, officially secularized, dashes all hope of the ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, receiving Benedict XVI next November 30 for the feast of St Andrew.