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    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    Who is our leader?

    Here comes Christ's Vicar on earth.

    Earthly leaders weigh their options.

    Turkey weighs the Muslim voters, and probably riots. Bush sees a wise man,
    and Catholic votes.

    The humility and mission of the Pope compels him to go to Turkey anyway. All
    the folks there are his children, even if they stay away.


    Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not meet Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Turkey on 28 November-1 December to please extremists in the Muslim majority country in view of general elections in a year's time, said the president of Catholic bishops in Turkey, Ruggero Franceschini on Thursday. "Elections are on the horizon and perhaps both left-wing and right-wing extremists who oppose dialogue prevailed," Franceschini told Italy's largest circulation paper Corriere della Sera. "The prime minister probably thought that by not meeting the pope he had one less problem during the electoral campaign."

    The bishop also said the fact that Turkey is not expected to join the European Union any time soon has contributed to deteriorating relations between Muslims and the tiny Christian minority in the country - less than one percent. "

    I think Europe has had the wrong attitude by raising constant objections (to Turkey's EU membership)," Franceschini said. Low expectations over this issue in Turkey have contributed to the fact that Erdogan didn't feel any "benefit for his public image" in meeting the pontiff to prove the secular nature of the country to the Turkish and European public opinion, the bishop added.

    Contrary to the Bishop's opinion, I would say the low expectations are
    proper, and that the constant objections are better said than silent.


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