"Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused of snubbing Pope Benedict on his first official trip to a Muslim country, says he has agreed to meet the pontiff when he arrives in Ankara on Tuesday.
"The Turkish leader had initially said he could not meet the pope because of a scheduling conflict with the two-day NATO summit in Latvia which begins on Tuesday.
"Many saw the move as a snub in light of recent tensions following a controversial speech in Germany in which the pope quoted a 14th century emperor who said Prophet Mohammed's teachings were "evil and inhuman." (CNN)
I'm anxious to see how this visit will turn out, and what the Pope will say in his addresses. The Catholic church -- assuming that the Bible is a good indicator -- blatantly considers Islam to be false, wrong, etc (John 14:6). Christianity holds that no other way exists to heaven except Jesus. If the Pope glosses over this with generalities, conveying the idea that both religions could be true, then he would surely anger millions of Catholics. But Catholics don't generally kill people and burn buildings when they feel slighted (today -- I'm aware of the offenses of the church in the past).
The Pope is the head of the Catholic church, but his visit has a definite political purpose. It's another addition to the mess that results when religion and politics are mixed, but this time it's on a worldwide scale.