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Catholic leader voices doubt on Turkey in EU

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict Criticizes Islam [in Regensburg]
in response to reader comment: POPE BENEDICT SPEECH

Submitted by AS (India), Sep 22, 2006 at 04:46

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2369667,00.html

THE Archbishop of Westminster entered the row over the Pope's comments on Islam yesterday when he questioned whether Turkey should be admitted to the European Union.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy- O'Connor, spiritual leader of the four million Catholics in England and Wales, echoed concerns shared by the Pope when he argued that the predominantly Muslim state was not culturally part of Europe.

The Cardinal played down the controversy over the Pope's address in Regensburg, Germany, last week, in which he quoted the words of a Byzantine emperor who described Islam as "evil and inhuman". But the Cardinal did say that there were passages in the Koran that could be read as an "incentive to violence".

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 programme Today, he questioned the position of Tony Blair, who has argued that Turkey should be allowed to join on the ground that to exclude it would be damaging.

The Cardinal said: "There may be another view that the mixture of cultures is not a good idea."

He added: "I think the question is for Europe. Will the admission of Turkey to the European Union be something that benefits a proper dialogue or integration of a very large, predominantly Islamic, country in a continent that, fundamentally, is Christian?"

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