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Pope Francis to travel to Turkey at the end of November

2014-09-12

In August, during his returning flight from South Korea, Pope Francis assured that he would follow a much more calm rhythm of work. However, it doesn't look like that will happen anytime soon. 


The Vatican announced that at the end of November the Pope will visit Turkey. The official invitation arrived several hours ago at the Vatican and Pope Francis accepted. 

Pope Benedict XVI visited the country in November 2006. He visited Ankara, and met with  local authorities. He also visited Izmir, near ancient Ephesus, to a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary venerated by Muslims as well. From there, he visited the Fanar in Istanbul, seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and prayed with the Grand Mufti of the Blue Mosque. 

It is most likely that Pope Francis will only visit Ankara and Istanbul, as well as meeting with refugees from Syria and Iraq. 

Until now, the only confirmed event is on November 30th, where he will attend the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Ecumenical Patriarch for the feast of Saint Andrew, in return for Bartholomew I's visits to the Vatican. 

The trip will also include a visit to a mosque and a meeting with Muslims, in order to build a bridge between Catholicism and the Islamic world and look for support against religious extremism.

The Pope will have a busy schedule ahead of him. In September, he will travel to Albania. In October, he will have the Synod of Bishops and in November, he will have two visits: Strasbourg and now, Turkey. 


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