The Pope goes to Turkey

Two days ago, the Pope was rectifying his immature political stances towards Muslims by welcoming Turks into Europe (It’s not because you’re Muslims that you can’t be in the civilized world, that sort of argument), and calling Islam a ‘religion of peace’. But yesterday, next to the “house where the Virgin Mary is thought to have spent her last years” in Epheseus, the Pope praised the priest who was killed by some random Turkish guy following the Prophet’s Muhammad caricature debacle.

I don’t understand this guy? He is still in Turkey, and he praises a priest who’s only worth mentioning because he was killed by a Turkish national (i.e. the priest as a person has no special merit to be mentioned but his slaying has). Where does he take diplomacy courses? In the neoconservative corridors of power? Somebody should tell this guy that American foreign policy may change. Or maybe he’s just feeding the European extreme-right wing constituency. That was in yesterday’s Turkish press:

“It started beautifully: the Pope told the world from Ankara that Islam was a religion of peace,” the mainstream Hurriyet newspaper said.

I guess now it’s going to end in a rather nasty way.


10 Replies to “The Pope goes to Turkey”

  1. Ahh, Ephesus of my youth … the world’s first mall …

    Actually, I think the Mary story developed because the area was big on Artemis (and other female deity) worship before the early Christians (Paul and then the king’s men) showed up with their crosses to save the pagans … Naturally, the cross-bearers just said, ‘yeah, we like breasts, too, but our girl is more chaste’ … 😉

  2. So killing a man (forget the priest) just because he is christian should go unnoticed? Come on, Religion of Peace?? Yeah start by acting peacefully…

  3. I don’t get you bech!
    a priest was killed or slayed, so how you want the pope to mention the slaying without praying for the priest who was slayed JUST because he is a priest ? he can not just pary to the X man slayed by a turkish fanatic !
    weird …

  4. All,

    I will not speak for bech, but I shall lend my two cents as a former hack for Vatican activities in the Near East and beyond. The post refers to the Pope’s diplomatic maladroitness, not the merit of the mentioning/praying for the dead priest.

    Bech and I have discussed this and it is my opinion that the Pope could not but mention the slain priest. But anyone who is familiar with that modern religious history of that particular area in Turkey would know how sensitive such subjects are and could question the Pope’s sagacity in mentioning/praying for the dead priest.

    Personally, I found the Pope’s words less than newsworthy and would have expected as much, but I also appreciate that the Pope should perhaps pay a small price with regard to his words due to his recent language concerning Islam and the tension, whether meritous or not, it evoked.

    Just Me,

    I am assuming you are a friend of bechir, but this is crotch-shot free zone … 😉

  5. hey folks i see that the bech is making ink be spilled. or fingers striking keyboards… anyway…

    apokraphyte explained the point I was trying to make. i’m sorry but you don’t go to turkey to built bridges with the Islamic community whose religion you called violent in nature and then on the next day praise a priest that died accidentally on the hands of a Turkish guy following the caricature debacle.

    Do you get my point? I mean you can praise this priest in the vatican all day long if you wish so. or in latin america or in mozambique or in japan for all i care, but not in Turkey. And it’s not like it happened yesterday, making it an urgent declaration to give. It happened months ago.

    So it means this guy is looking for trouble. Do you get my point now?

    Do you understand that i don’t justify the slaying of priests? Do you also get the fact that I am not against these declarations, but I am just criticizing the timing?

    Let me remind that the pope still did not apologize officially for his comments that Islam is by nature violent.

    peace out

  6. oh yeah? my imaginary friend in the sky can beat up your imaginary in the sky…

    but seriously, maybe if we just ignore the vicar of christ, he might just go away.. (if only)

    keep up the posts,


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