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Turkey's unique history a challenge for this academic pope

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As Benedict XVI's Nov. 28-Dec. 1 trip to Turkey draws near, one concern both in the Vatican and at the Phanar, the headquarters of the Patriarch of Constantinople, is that the post-Regensburg emphasis on Christian/Muslim relations will overshadow the ecumenical thrust of the pope's visit, intended to cap several decades of rapprochement between Rome and the "first among equals" in the Orthodox world.

Who will say no to Benedict XVI?

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 All Things Catholic by John L. Allen, Jr.
  Friday, Oct. 27, 2006 - Vol. 6, No. 9  

Of all the questions generated by the Regensburg crisis, perhaps the one of greatest long-term consequence for this pontificate, across a range of issues much wider than Catholic-Muslim relations, is the following.

Who will say no to Benedict XVI?

It's a question only now coming into view, as the immediate need for damage control with the Muslim world, and for finalizing the agenda for the pope's Nov. 28-Dec. 1 trip to Turkey, recedes.

I've just returned from two weeks in Rome, "taking the temperature," so to speak, of the post-Regensburg climate. Speaking on background, virtually every Vatican official I saw offered some version of the following analysis:

Money, abuse and communion bans: U.S. bishops meet with Benedict

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Bishop William Skylstad, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was in Rome for biannual meetings between the officers of the U.S. bishops' conference and the Vatican. While here, he sat down for a wide-ranging interview with NCR Oct. 18 about issues facing the American church. Highlights of his comments include:

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