Turkish Bishops Share Problems and Hopes with Pope Francis
The Iskenderun Cathedral before and after the 2023 earthquake

Turkish Bishops Share Problems and Hopes with Pope Francis

The Turkish Bishops concluded their ad limina visit meeting with Pope Francis on February 9. An Ad Limina visit is a periodic obligatory visit made by all bishops’ conferences to Rome. During this time, they pray at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, meet with various Vatican officials, and have a private audience with the Pope.

Archbishop Martin Kmetec OFM Conv. is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Izmir and President of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference. Archbishop Kmetec said he and the other Bishops were able to share with the Holy Father important issues that concern their situation in Turkey. Turkey is a Muslim-majority nation with the Catholic Church representing about .07 percent of the population.

On January 28, an armed man entered the Church of the Nativity of Our Lady in Büyükdere, a church under the care of our friars. He killed a 52-year-old man and attempted to shoot others, but his gun jammed. This violence causes fear and is aimed at “terrorizing all Christians in the country.” In addition, the Church is also working on healing the wounds caused by the earthquake in 2023. The churches that collapsed, including the Iskenderun Cathedral are still waiting for necessary permissions before reconstruction can begin.

Read more about the visit at vaticannews.va.