14-September-2006 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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TURKISH OFFICIAL RAPS POPE, DISCOURAGES VISIT

Sep. 14 (CWNews.com) - Turkey's ranking Muslim leader has denounced Pope Benedict XVI for having criticizing Islam during a speech to academics in Regensburg, and said that the Roman Pontiff should not be allowed to visit Turkey, as planned, in November.

The Pope's September 12 speech was "full of enmity and grudges," said Ali Bardakoglu, the top official for religious affairs in the Turkish government. The speech showed "hatred in his heart," he told the NTV television network.

"I do not think any good will come from a visit to the Muslim world by a person who has such ideas," Bardakoglu said. The Pope is scheduled to travel to Turkey in November, to join Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in celebration of the feast of St. Andrew, the patron of the Constantinople see.

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