ONLINE – Exequial mass on Tuesday, Dec.29 at 11:00 a.m.


To the Priests, Consecrated and Lay Faithful of the Apostolic Vicariate of Istanbul


On the evening of Tuesday, December 22, at about 11:13 p.m.,
our Brother and Father Bishop Rubén TIERRABLANCA GONZALEZ OFM, Titular Bishop of Tubernuca and Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, passed away at the age of 68, called by our heavenly Father. He had been hospitalized at Koç University Hospital since December 2. 
In this sad circumstance, we present our condolences to his sister Mrs. Celia, to the Religious Family of the Friars Minor, to all his close collaborators and to the faithful of the Vicariate who mourn his loss. May the Lord reward our Brother and Father Bishop Ruben for the gift of his consecrated life in the service of the Church, and may the Lord Jesus receive him as a good and faithful servant in the joy of his kingdom. 


An exequial mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 29 at 11:00 a.m. in the Cathedral absente cadavere, and burial will follow after the mass in Feriköy Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. Seats are limited, and entrance to the cathedral will be allowed only to those who have an official ticket from their parish.


The ceremony will be broadcast on SAT-7 TÜRK. It is recommended that you participate primarily by attending the live broadcast on SAT-7 TÜRK.  For those who wish, it is possible to visit the Cathedral for a prayer of suffrage. 

Due to the limitations imposed by the pandemic, you may leave a message of condolence on this site:  


Fr. Marcelo Antonio Cisneros OFM, parish priest of the Church of Mater Dolorosa Katolik Kilisesi in Samsun (Turkey),died on 14th of December 2022 due to broken abdominal aortic aneurysm, at age 64.  

Our brother, fr. Marcelo Antonio Cisneros OFM, parish priest of the Church of Mater Dolorosa Katolik Kilisesi in Samsun (Turkey),died on morning of 14th of December 2022 due to broken abdominal aortic aneurysm, at age 64.  

The Holy Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, 20th of December 2022 at 18.00 in the Church of Santa Maria Draperis in Istanbul.

Tonight, Dec. 7, 2022, at 6 p.m. Msgr. PALINURO will preside over the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint-Esprit Cathedral on the first anniversary of his episcopal consecration.

Last year on the evening of Dec. 7, 2021, the eve of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the episcopal consecration of our Bishop H.E. Most Rev. Msgr. Massimiliano PALINURO, Vicar Apostolic of Istanbul, took place.
Tonight, Dec. 7, 2022, at 6 p.m. Msgr. PALINURO will preside over the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint-Esprit Cathedral on the first anniversary of his episcopal consecration. We are invited to join him in the prayer of thanksgiving. May the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, give him grace and health and keep him long in His service in guiding the faithful entrusted to his care.

34th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe – C

Tiziano (1490–1576), Christ and the Good Thief
Tiziano (1490–1576), Christ and the Good Thief

34ème Dimanche du Temps Ordinaire, Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ Roi de l’Univers – C

34ª Domenica del Tempo Ordinario, Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo Rica ederim dell’Universo – C

Olağan devre – 34. Pazar Günü, Mesih İsa Evrenin Kralı Bayramı – C



Mons. Kmetec said that “The whole nation was shocked and deeply sadden by the appalling news of the bomb blast on last Sunday, 13th November, 2022 at Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue that left at least six people dead and 81 injured. On behalf of all the Bishops of Turkey and the Christian Community our deepest condolences and sympathies with the begrieve families at the loss of precious lives and we pray for the speedy recovery of the injured” in his message.

“We are all endowed by Allah the spirit of tranquility and the responsibility to take care of the beautiful earth given to us, let us keep it safe from all harm. May Allah transform the hearts of all who are gone astray and are cause of pain and suffering for others, may they live and work for peace”.


On 7-9 October 2022 the Synodal Conference of the Church in Turkey took place at the Archdiocese of Izmir, which saw the meeting of the representatives of all the people of God who live in this land under the guidance of the Spirit in the certainty that he still has much to say to our Churches as it was two thousand years ago.

This significant ecclesial meeting took place in a context of listening, discussion and prayer and conceived in continuity with the synodal path in recent months that has taken place at the diocesan and national level as desired by Pope Francis.
In the course of his homily, the Patriarch recalled the fundamental aspects of the dogma of divine motherhood and emphasized that “the synodality that exists in the Church can truly be compared to the harmony and concord that reigns among the Persons of the Trinity”.
The first day of work coincided with the traditional memory of the Council of Ephesus, which in 431 the divine motherhood of Mary was dogmatically defined. The celebration of the Eucharist was presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio in Turkey Msgr. Marek Solczyński. It celebrated in the ruins of the ancient basilica built on the site where the Council of Ephesus was gathered.
The importance of becoming a Christian community more and more capable of interacting with the local culture, without prejudices and closures, more willing to welcome all those who draw close to it, and capable of an effective proclamation of the Gospel because it is alive, was emphasized in particular.

Vatican Ambassador to Ankara, H. E. Mons. Solczynski presented his letter of credence to President Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received Vatican Ambassador to Ankara Mons. Marek Solczynski at the Presidential Complex.

Ambassador Solczynski presented his letter of credence to President Erdoğan at the reception. Ambassador Solczynski introduced some embassy members to President Erdoğan.

Appointment of apostolic nuncio in Liberia

Mons. Walter Erbì

The Holy Father has appointed the Reverend Msgr. Walter Erbì, nunciature counsellor, as apostolic nuncio in Liberia, at the same time elevating him to the titular see of Nepi, with the dignity of Archbishop.

Curriculum vitae

Msgr. Walter Erbì was born in Turin, Italy, on 8 January 1968. He was ordained a priest on 10 May 1992, and incardinate in the diocese of Iglesias.

He graduated in canon law.

He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 July 2001 and has served in the apostolic nunciature in the Philippines, in the General Affairs Section of the Secretariat of State and in the Pontifical Representations in Italy, the United States of America and Turkey.

He speaks Spanish, English and French.

The Interview of Mons. Martin Kmetec, Archbishop of Izmir published on

Turkey: “A Church with open doors” in an Islamic society

Volker Niggewöhner

Even though Christianity has a tradition of nearly 2,000 years in Turkey; today, after various waves of persecution, There are almost not any Christian in the country. Yet the archbishop of Izmir the West of country, Mons. Martin Kmetec reminds that  “Turkey is where the first church was born”, in the west of the country.

Christianity in Turkey has a long tradition. Before the First World War, the territory of the former Ottoman Empire still had about 30% Christians. Today, it is estimated that around 0.2% of the Turkish population is Christian. In the archdiocese of Izmir, the country’s third city near by the Aegean Sea, the population of Christians is around 5,000. Archbishop of Izmir, Mons Martin states, “If we add migrants and refugees who live around city center of Izmir or in other big cities, it will be a little more.  They mainly live in the city centers of Izmir and in other big cities”. The Archbisop Martin Kmetec originally from Slovenia and belongs to Order of Conventual Minor Friars. He worked in Lebanon almost eleven years then came to Turkey to live in 2001.  In 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Izmir. “We have communities in Konya, Antalya and other cities on the coast. Our Archdiocese is very large; its territory covers approximately 100,000 km2. Konya is the furthest parish, it is 550 kilometers far from Izmir; and Antalya, which is located about 450 kilometers away is on the southern coast of Turkey. There are too much distances here. “

Can you freely proclaim the faith?

Archbishop Martin Kmetec:

– Giving testimony for life and fraternal life is a priority for me as a Franciscan. Saint Francis said that the Word should be preached in every occasion. We are trying to do this  on social media and on the new Archdiocesan website. We try to be actively involved and to be a living church. Our mission is to become a Church with open doors. For this reason, all of our churches are open to the public at certain times. Sometimes there is mass or liturgy. There is always someone on hand to greet visitors and provide information if they have any questions. This is our way of evangelism in this situation.

The first church was born in here among the nations. Also the first  ecumenical councils which marked the Catholich faith took place in this region that is known as Turkey nowadays.

Once Turkey was a secular country, now is currently experiencing an Islamic renaissance. Are Christians experience any discrimination due to their belief?

– I would not say that Christians experience any discrimination generally. However, there may be some negative experiences in dealing with authorities or administrative services. In Turkey, the Catholic Church is not recognize as a legal entity. Nevertheless, if we talk about dialogue, I would say that there is a dialogue of life. Fro example Caritas Organization is a part of our Church, of our Archdiocese. There are Caritas Offices in every dioceses and they help everyone both  Christians and Muslims and all those need help.  We also meet the imams of our region in various occasion, for example on “Brotherhood Day”. I went to the mayor of the city with some of priests and had an occasion to offer a gift: the Turkish translation of Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli tutti. The encyclical Laudato si’, which deals with environmental issues that affect all of humanity, has also been translated into Turkish.

Is there an ecumenical dialogue in Turkey?

We have generally good relationships with the other Christian Churches. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His Beatitude Bartholomew I, maintains good relations with the Focolare Movement and the new Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro. In Izmir, we also meet the Orthodox Churches, but also the Anglican ones, on various Christian holidays. Recently, Armenian priests celebrated an Armenian liturgy in our Catholic Church of Saint Polycarp, because they do not have their own church in Izmir. We also collaborated with the Armenians of Izmir to open a small bookstore for the Bible Society. So there are good signs of ecumenical dialogue.

Turkey is a very popular country for vacationers. Is it important for Christians visiting Turkey, also visit Christian churches?

Yes, it is very important. I would like to remind them that the origins of our faith are here. Here was born the first Church among the nations. The first ecumenical councils, which marked the Catholic faith, took place in this territory, now it is known as Turkey. The mission for Europe was born here. We have a German priest who takes care of the Catholics of German origin living here to support our pastoral activities. I would be happy if we could find another priest to serve the other communities, at least in the summer during the tourist season. But it also requires a financial support. Perhaps the European Council of Episcopal Conferences could think of ways to help us.