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Catholic Church in Turkey

The Catholic Church in Turkey is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and the canonical leadership of the curia in Rome that is submitted to the Pope.

Holy Spirit Cathedral, Istanbul


In the 2000s, there are around 25,000 Roman Catholics,[1] constituting 0.05% of the population. The faithful follow the Latin, Byzantine, Armenian and Chaldean Rites. Most Latin Church Catholics are Levantines of mainly Italian or French background, with a few are ethnic Turks, who are usually either converts via marriage to Levantines or other non-Turkish Catholics, or are returnees from Europe who converted there, and who may often be still registered as Muslim by the government. Byzantine, Armenian, and Chaldean rite Catholics are generally members of the Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian minority groups respectively. Turkey's Catholics are concentrated in Istanbul.

By 2020, there were approximately 70 priests and 50 nuns serving in 52 parishes;[2] the church also ran 6 hospitals and homes for the old and infirm.

Paolo Bizzeti is the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia.[3]


The Catholic Christian community was shocked when Father Andrea Santoro, an Italian missionary working in Turkey for 10 years, was shot twice in February 2006 at his church near the Black Sea.[4] He had written a letter to the Pope asking him to visit Turkey.[5] Pope Benedict XVI visited Turkey in November 2006.[6] Relations had been rocky since Pope Benedict XVI had stated his opposition to Turkey joining the European Union.[7] Turkey's Council of Catholic Bishops met with the Turkish prime minister in 2004 to discuss restrictions and difficulties such as property issues.[8] On June 6, 2010, Bishop Luigi Padovese, the Vicar Apostolic of Turkey, was killed.

Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua, Mersin


Latin Church jurisdictions in Turkey

See also


  1. ^ US State Dept 2022 report
  2. ^ Catholics and Culture website, retrieved 2023-08-08
  3. ^ Catholic News Agency website, article dated July 17, 2021
  4. ^ "Priest's killing shocks Christians in Turkey". Catholic World News. February 6, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-26.
  5. ^ "Priest Slain in Turkey Had Sought Pope Visit". The New York Times. Reuters. February 9, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-26.
  6. ^ "Confirmed: Pope to visit Turkey in November". Catholic World News. February 9, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-26.
  7. ^ Donovan, Jeffrey (April 20, 2005). "World: New Pope Seen As Maintaining Roman Catholic Doctrinal Continuity". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 2006-06-26.
  8. ^ "Turkey". International Religious Freedom Report 2004. September 15, 2004. Retrieved 2006-06-26.
  9. ^
  10. ^ katolik kilisesi
  11. ^
  12. ^ Patriarchal Exarchate of Istanbul (French)
  13. ^ Melkite Catholic Church Saint Pantaleon (French)
  14. ^ Apostolic Letter "Orientalium Dignitas" on the preservation and protection of Oriental disciplines, Pope Leo XIII, 1894 (Latin)
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Catholic Church in Turkey
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