Karpas - Pope Visits Turkey
I don't think the dialogue with Bardakoglu will come to much, but we'll see.
I'm awfully glad to see Benedict carry on John Paul's legacy of dialogue with the Orthodox churches however and expect Benedict and Bartholomew to hit it off well.
As some of you know I intend, after I retire to become a secular Orthodox Priest and so I'm glad to see a reconciliation between East and West and a movement towards a once again united Christendom.
It did however strike me as interesting that all three men in the series of meetings in Turkey have names starting with the letter B.
I wouldn't mind touring the Hagia Sophia myself. Of all the great historical churches in the world that would rank right up there as one of my top two or three favorites to visit.
Pope to meet with Islamic critic, Orthodox patriarch
Updated 11/11/2006 12:03 PM ET
By Umit Bektas, Reuters
Thousands gathered Nov. 4 at Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's mausoleum in Ankara, Turkey, to rally against what they see as radical Islamic threats to the secular Turkish republic.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI will meet in Turkey later this month with a top Islamic cleric who denounced the pope's remarks on Islam and violence.
During the pope's Nov. 28-Dec. 1 visit to the predominantly Muslim nation, he will also visit a symbol of Turkey's official commitment to secularism — the mausoleum of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who is honored as the founder of the modern Turkish state.
The Vatican on Saturday released details of the trip, which was originally planned so that Benedict could meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, as the pontiff pursues closer relations among Christians.
But the trip quickly turned into a test of Catholic-Muslim relations after much of the Muslim world reacted angrily to a Sept. 12 speech in which Benedict quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor describing Islam as a religion spread by the sword.
One of the first to decry Benedict's speech was Turkey's president for religious affairs, Ali Bardakoglu, a top Islamic cleric who said criticism of Islam threatened world peace. Benedict and Bardakoglu will meet within hours of the pope's arrival in Ankara, the Turkish capital, on Nov. 28. The pope will also deliver a speech during his encounter with the cleric, the Vatican said.