National Catholic Register


Vatican Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.

BY John Lilly

November 12-18, 2006 Issue | Posted 11/8/06 at 10:00 AM


Pope Will Not Meet With Turkish Prime Minister

AKI, Nov. 1 — There will be no official meeting between Pope Benedict and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the Holy Father visits Turkey later this month, the international news service reported.

Erdogan will be attending a NATO summit in Riga, Estonia, “a very important appointment for us,” explained embassy staff. In effect, the official program of the papal visit released by the prime minister’s office made no mention of an encounter between the Pope and the leaders of the Islamist-based Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Pope Benedict will, however, meet President Necdet Sezer, and the head of the religious affairs directorate, Ali’ Bardakoglu, the grand mufti of Turkey.

The details of the program are still being finalized, especially regarding possible meetings with civil and political authorities in Ankara. In the absence of Erdogan, the Pope could have talks with some government members. Pope Benedict is planning to make a three-stop journey to Turkey, taking in Istanbul, Ankara and Ephesus, the site of the most important shrine to the Blessed Mother in Anatolia.

Member of Royal Family to Marry at the Vatican

INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC NEWS, Oct. 31 — Lord Nicholas Windsor was to become the first member of the British royal family to marry in the Catholic faith since the Reformation, the international news service reported.

The son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent was slated to tie the knot Nov. 4 in the Church of Santo Stefano Degli Abissini in the papal gardens behind St. Peter’s Basilica. His wife-to-be is the British-born Croatian noble, Donna Paola Doimi de Frankopan. Bishop Alan Hopes, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Westminster, was to conduct the ceremony.

Lord Windsor converted to Catholicism in 2001 and by doing so automatically lost his rights of succession to the throne because of the notorious 1701 Act of Settlement that bars Catholics from becoming monarch of Great Britain. In 1994, his mother, the Duchess of Kent, became the most senior member of the royal family to convert to Catholicism.

Pope Benedict’s Audiences as Popular as Ever

ASIANEWS, Nov. 1 — More than 2½ million people have met Benedict XVI in Rome or at Castel Gandolfo since the beginning of the year, reported the Catholic Asian news agency.

According to statistics of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, which organizes the audiences, the number of faithful who have met the Holy Father in the first 10 months of the year was exactly 2,674,820. The figure therefore does not take into account those people who participated in ceremonies and meetings that took place in his trips in Italy or abroad.

Specifically, 938,500 took part in the Wednesday general audiences; 349,120 took part in particular audiences; 502,200 were present at liturgical celebrations that took place in Rome. Meanwhile, 885,000 listened to the Angelus in Rome and Castel Gandolfo.

Some other statistics: The general audiences that drew the largest crowds were those held in May, with 207,000 participants, followed by March (126,000) and June (125,000).