Turkish Catholic Church calls for a return of 200 properties. Better to ask for legal recognition *Sudan: Muslim mob burns Catholic church in capital

April 25, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-world, Persecution, Sudan, World

Turkey, April 23, 2012: The bishops’ request is based on a 1913 list, signed by the Ottoman Empire and France, once the protector of Catholics. The request, difficult to resolve, has stirred controversy and embarrassment among other Christian communities. Archbishop Lucibello, Nuncio in Turkey. It is urgent that Ankara recognize the Catholic Church, after 60 years of diplomatic relations with the Holy See.

The Turkish Catholic Church is trying to regain possession of 200 properties confiscated by the government in Ankara in the 1930s. But several elements of the community think the church should focus its efforts on the legal recognition of the community.

A few days ago, some Catholic bishops, including Msgr. Ruggero Franceschini, president of the Episcopal Conference, met with the Commission for Reconciliation of the Turkish parliament. The Commission has been working to study the return of properties confiscated by the government of Ataturk to non-Muslim communities (see: 29/08/2011 Historic decision: Erdogan returns seized property to religious minorities). But Catholics are not in the list of “non-Muslim communities” because at the time they were recognized as a “foreign” community.

The Turkish Church has submitted a list of over 200 properties (churches, schools, orphanages, hospitals, cemeteries, …) based on a list drawn up in 1913 between the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire and France, erstwhile protector of the Church Catholic.

The problem of return of these properties is very complex: first, these assets have passed from hand to hand and it is not certain that they can be returned. But the most important issue is the lack of legal status of the Catholic Church in the current Turkish law. To date, the Catholic Church in Turkey can not own property and these can only be made payable to Turkish private citizens (often secular or church-related nominee), with ambiguous consequences.

Several political parties and newspapers have taken on the requests of the bishops, judging them “greedy”. The request has embarrassed other Christian communities.

Some Church Turkish figures have stressed to AsiaNews that the real problem that needs to be addressed it is obtaining legal recognition by the State. Sources close to the episcopate state that this topic was not even addressed at the meeting with the Commission for Reconciliation,.

“On this recognition – said the apostolic nuncio in Turkey, Mgr. Antonio Lucibello – there are pour parler dating for decades. Even the pope, in meeting the new Turkish ambassador to the Vatican [January 7, 2010], once again asked for the legal recognition of the Catholic Church. This recognition should have already been granted because a country like Turkey has relations with the Holy See for 60 years and really should give this recognition : it would be a logical consequence because the Church in Turkey is in a sense as a derivation of the Holy See. ” According to experts, the forthcoming Turkish constitutional reform could lead to openings for the legal recognition of the Catholic Church.

– asianews

Muslim mob burns Catholic church in Sudan capital

 

Sudan, April 23, 2012: A Muslim mob set ablaze a Catholic church frequented by Southern Sudanese in the capital Khartoum, witnesses and media reports said on Sunday.

The church in Khartoum’s Al-Jiraif district was built on a disputed plot of land, but the Saturday night incident appeared to be part of the fallout from ongoing hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan over control of an oil town on their ill-defined border.

Sudan and South Sudan have been drawing closer to a full-scale war in recent months over the unresolved issues of sharing oil revenues and the disputed border.

Last week, South Sudanese troops seized Heglig, which the southerners call Panthou, sending Sudanese troops fleeing. The Khartoum government later claimed to have regained control of the town.

The witnesses and several newspapers said a mob of several hundred shouting insults at southerners torched the church. Fire engines could not put out the fire, they said.

One newspaper, Al-Sahafah, said the church was part of a complex that included a school and dormitories. Ethiopian refugees living in the Sudanese capital also used the church.

The mostly Christian and animist South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, some six years after a peace deal ended more than two decades of war between the two sides. Tens of thousands of southerners remain in Sudan, a legacy of the civil war that drove hundreds of thousands to seek relative safety in the north of what was then a single Sudanese nation.

Vice President Ali Osman Taha rejected suggestions by South Sudan for the deployment of international forces in Heglig, saying in a television interview that the area was internationally recognized as Sudanese territory.

He also said that Khartoum would shortly announce the monetary value of what he said was the destruction caused by Southern Sudanese troops in Heglig and that his government would demand compensation.

Sudanese army spokesman Col. Sawarmy Khaled said that government forces have repulsed an attack by Southern Sudanese forces in the area around the town of Talode in South Kordofan, the same region where Heglig is located. He said the southerners suffered unspecified casualties but did not say when the fighting took place.

In neighboring Blue Nile state, a Sudan military official said his forces have killed 50 rebels linked to the south.

Maj. Gen. Murtada Warraq said his forces will continue to “liberate” territories from rebels linked to the northern wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. His comments were carried by Sudan’s official news agency SUNA.

Clashes in Blue Nile state broke out in September, driving many of the area’s residents to seek refuge in the south.

– ap

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.