Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said this week the possible entry of Turkey into the European Union would be “anti-historical” and that it would be better for the country to remain as a bridge between Europe and the Arab world or to form a “cultural continent” together with that world.

According to the ANSA agency, Cardinal Ratzinger said that culturally and historically Turkey has little in common with Europe, and therefore, “with all due respect,” it would be a “grave error” to grant the country EU membership.

The Cardinal made his statements during a gathering with religious educators in Velletri, south of Rome.