Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Pope in Turkey

From Asia News Italy:

This journey starting today promises to be one of the most sensitive in the history of modern papal trips due to tensions that have amassed around its ecumenical focus. With what kind of spirit are you facing it?

“I am facing it with great faith and hope. I know that many people are accompanying us with their sympathy and with their prayers. I know too that the Turkish people are a hospitable and open people who desire peace; that Turkey has always been a bridge between cultures and thus it is also a place of encounter and dialogue. I would also like to stress that this is not a political journey, it is a pastoral journey and as such, it is defined and determined by dialogue and a shared commitment to peace. Dialogue in different dimensions: between cultures, dialogue between Christianity and Islam, dialogue with our Christian brothers, especially the Orthodox Church of Constantinople and at the same time, better comprehension between us all. Naturally, we should not exaggerate, great results cannot be expected from three days, I would say the value is symbolic; the fruit of such encounters, of encounters in friendship and respect, this meeting as servants of peace, has its worth. I believe this symbolism of a commitment to peace and brotherhood among peoples to be the outcome of this journey.”