Vatican steps into veil debate

A cardinal says ‘guests’ must follow the laws of their host country, including the banning of veils.

Martino said'guests'from a different culture must respect the traditions ... of the countries they go to
Martino said'guests'from a different culture must respect the traditions ... of the countries they go to

Vatican Radio reiterated the stance, saying that “the question of the veil for Islamic women” should be “considered in the context of respect for the laws of the countries which welcome them”.

Cultural traditions

Martino’s comments come two weeks before the pope begins a visit to Turkey.

“Dialogue is needed with our brothers”

Cardinal Renato Martino, former Vatican envoy to the UN

Send us your views

Although a secular state, Turkey has long wrestled over whether Muslim women should wear Islamic headscarves in such places as universities and public offices, where the article of clothing has been banned for many years.

Flanking the cardinal, Agostino Marchetto, another Vatican official who deals with immigration issues, referred to Italy’s law requiring people to keep their faces visible in public.

The law dates to Italy’s crackdown on domestic terrorism several decades ago.

Marchetto said Italy “rightly” has such a law and that obeying it is “part of accepting the law of this country”.

Marchetto said: “Dialogue is needed with our brothers to make them understand the consequences of some of their desires, such as their own cultural and religious traditions, would not be positive in the society they are now in.”

Martino also pushed the Vatican’s campaign for Christians’ right to worship around the world.

He lamented that some countries do not allow immigrants from Christian countries to profess their faith easily.

Source : News Agencies


The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI will visit Turkey next month, allaying fears the trip may have been cancelled after his recent remarks about Islam provoked protests around the world.

16 Oct 2006

Muslim scholars and religious leaders have criticised Pope Benedict XVI for his remarks about Islam and urged him to play a positive role in bringing Islam and Christianity closer.

15 Sep 2006

Jack Straw, a senior British politician, has said Muslim women who wear face veils make community relations “difficult”, prompting criticism from Islamic groups.

6 Oct 2006
More from News
Most Read