Rorate Caeli

News from the "secular" Muslim country

[November 29, 2006] Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed an EU-inspired law to improve the property rights of non-Muslims, the president's office said on Wednesday.


The so-called foundations law, which fell short of European Union expectations, affects Greek Orthodox, Syriac and Armenian communities, and was approved after months of fierce debate in officially secular but predominantly Muslim Turkey.

The Great Church is a dead shell. One enters it, and one is struck by its immensity and antiquity. But then, as one walks about it, one is struck by something else: its stasis. The house of God has no God in it, no worshippers of any kind, and no future to complement its past. The other great churches of Christendom are at the least well-preserved, and most even have active congregations. Aggressively secular Paris manages to find congregants -- and funds -- for Notre Dame. The Basilica of St Peter retains an active glory. St Mark's in Venice, nearest to the Hagia Sophia in decor and form, is yet alive with something more than tourists. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is patrolled by prickly monks of various denominations. ... And among them, only the Hagia Sophia is dead. It is a metaphor and a warning -- of the Ecumenical Patriarchate under the Turks, and of Christianity under Islam.

Dear brothers and sisters, in this visit I have wanted to convey my personal love and spiritual closeness, together with that of the universal Church, to the Christian community here ..., a small minority which faces many challenges and difficulties daily. With firm trust let us sing, together with Mary, a magnificat of praise and thanksgiving to God who has looked with favour upon the lowliness of his servant (cf. Lk 1:48). ... Mary teaches us that the source of our joy and our one sure support is Christ, and she repeats his words: "Do not be afraid" (Mk 6:50), "I am with you" (Mt 28:20).

Benedict XVI, in Ephesus


  1. If current trends continue then the church in Turkey will soon be followed by the church in most of the rest of Europe - empty pews, closing churches and chapels, desolate seminaries, rapidly vanishing convents and a liturgy which encourages its adherents to imagine anything they like - even women presbyters & altar servettes.
    The Holy Father might better use his time addressing the grave situation in the western church and making some concrete decisions about the liturgy and the appalling moral condition of the church and many of its clergy. It is difficult to understand why he should endanger his life and undertake what is essentially a political mission.

  2. The forces that are pushing for an entering of Turkey into the European Union, are not turkish but European and American. Maybe the Pope should do his critique to them, instead to the Turquish society.

  3. From the close of the Pope's homily in Ephesus:

    "Mary, Mother of the Church, accompany us always on our way! Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us! Aziz Meryem Mesih’in Annesi C Amen."

    Anybody notice anything funny?

    English: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us."

    Turkish: "Aziz Meryem Mesih’in Annesi bizim için Dua et.", which translated is "Holy Mary, Mother of the Messiah, make a duah (make a prayer request) for us..."

    Mother of God would be Ullah'in Annesi. You could also say, Ullah'in Validet or Validet Ullah which means "Bearer of God (in the womb)" and corresponds as well to "Θεοτόκος".

    But Mesih means just Messiah or Christ, not God.

    This was in Ephesus, mind. Remember which Council defined Mary as Mother of God?


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