Bishop says Turkish officials fail to discuss plans for Pauline year
Published: January 25, 2008
WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A church official in Turkey said the country's authorities are failing to consult about plans for the 2,000th anniversary year of St. Paul's birth in the southern city of Tarsus. "Although government representatives from Ankara have been here, they haven't spoken to me," said Bishop Luigi Padovese of Anatolia, Turkey. "Our own preparations are well advanced, so they need to know about our plans. But they haven't announced any decisions, so everything still looks uncertain." Bishop Padovese told Catholic News Service in a Jan. 25 telephone interview that he had asked the mayor of Tarsus to provide facilities for pilgrims and rooms for priests to prepare for services. "But I said we need a church above all, since people will be coming here not just as tourists, but also to pray," the bishop said. The city's 12th-century St. Paul Church currently is a state-owned museum. "I think the central Turkish government is well disposed toward us. But we must know what they're doing," he said. Pope Benedict XVI convoked 2008-09 as a special Pauline year and said the celebrations should have a special ecumenical character.
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