The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Turkey, Archbishop Luigi Padovese, has invited Christians to make a pilgrimage to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul, as part of their celebrations for the Pauline year. Pope Benedict XVI will officially inaugurate the year June 21, to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of the apostle to the Gentiles.
Archbishop Padovese also said that the letters of St. Paul will be published in Turkish for the first time so that Christians in Turkey will gain a better understanding of Jesus’ teachings and mature in their identity as Christians.
The archbishop also explained that as part of the festivities, there will be an ecumenical celebration attended by various leaders of the Orthodox Church on January 25, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul.
On June 21 the opening of the Pauline year will take place at the museum church of St. Paul in Tarsus, with Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian unity in attendance.