German cardinal wants to build church in Turkey

15th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 December 2007, Cologne, Germany (dpa) - A German cardinal is appealing to Turkey for permission to build a Christian shrine in Tarsus, the birthplace of Saint Paul, the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger reported Saturday. The Catholic archbishop of Cologne, Joachim Meisner, suggested this as a goodwill gesture to end a dispute in the city about planning permission for a big new mosque for Cologne's Turkish Moslem community. Cardinal Meisner said a centre for Christian pilgrimage in the Mediterranean port city of T

14 December 2007

Cologne, Germany (dpa) - A German cardinal is appealing to Turkey for permission to build a Christian shrine in Tarsus, the birthplace of Saint Paul, the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger reported Saturday.

The Catholic archbishop of Cologne, Joachim Meisner, suggested this as a goodwill gesture to end a dispute in the city about planning permission for a big new mosque for Cologne's Turkish Moslem community.

Cardinal Meisner said a centre for Christian pilgrimage in the Mediterranean port city of Tarsus would be a symbol of religious freedom in Turkey.

"We Christians don't have anything there," said Meisner, who has held back from welcoming plans by Ditib, a Turkish religious affairs agency, to build a grand mosque in inner-city Cologne to replace a crowded existing mosque.

Pope Benedict XVI has declared 2008 the Year of Paul as the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth.

Paul, a Jew and Roman citizen, was a principal theoretician of the Christian faith, with his letters a key part of the Christian scriptures.

In an interview, Meisner said, "I've asked Ditib for their support to build a pilgrimage centre and a small church there."

"It would be a strong sign of conciliation and would contribute to a settlement here in Cologne," he said, referring to opposition among rightists and others in Cologne to the mosque.

DPA

Subject: German news

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