.- Speaking to the Italian daily La Repubblica, the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Paul Poupard, said a resolution addressing the lack of religious freedom and the discrimination against Christians in Turkey is urgent before a decision can be made about accepting that country into the European Union. âRegarding Turkeyâs entry into the EU, it must be seen whether the countryâs intentions to resolve its numerous interior problems are real,â the he stated. âThe lack of religious liberty and Christians treated as second-class citizensâ were a few of the problems Cardinal Poupard said needed to be addressed. âAll of this for a future EU country is simply absurd,â he maintained.
âEach time I have visited Christians in Istanbul and Antioch,â he added, âI have seen the difficulties in which they live and that they lack sometimes even the most basic of human rights.â âIf the negotiated agreement recognizes these rights, then I will be happy but it must be a concrete agreement and not a faÃ§ade,â the cardinal warned.
He said the possible entry of Turkey into the EU âis the beginning of a path, of a dialogue and of a willingness that, I hope, is not just a faÃ§ade.â