.- In an interview with Turkish press yesterday, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., the Director of the Holy See Press Office reiterated that the Vatican is not opposed to Turkey joining the European Union.
Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Fr. Lombardi pointed out that the issue of Turkish membership in the EU is a political one and that it must be noted that the Vatican is not a member of the EU. He concluded that there can be no objections to membership if Turkey fulfills its obligations and meets the requirements of the EU criteria.
The Turkish press has repeatedly circulated comments made by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prior to his election as Pope Benedict XVI, that including Turkey in the EU would be a “grave error against the tide of history,” considering the Christian history of Europe.
Though Pope Benedict has spoken on the need to rediscover the Christian identity of Europe, he has not directly commented on the Turkish/E.U. issue since his election.