Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI is seeking more freedom for the Catholic Church in Turkey.
The pontiff said on Thursday that while Catholics in predominantly Muslim Turkey appreciate the freedom of worship guaranteed by the Constitution, the Catholic Church is waiting for civil juridical recognition.
He told the new Turkish Ambassador to the Holy See that this would help the church "enjoy full religious freedom and to make an even greater contribution to society."
The Catholic Church is not formally registered in Turkey, unlike religions practiced by Turkey`s non-Muslim minorities such as Orthodox Greeks and Jews. This makes it difficult for the Catholic and Protestant churches, for example, to set up new places of worship.