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Vatican presents Pope's trips to Strasburg and Turkey

2014-11-17

The Pope will pack his bags twice next week for his visits to Strasburg and Turkey. Today, his spokesman gave details on the schedule for both trips. 

On Tuesday, November 25 he will travel to Strasburg. It will be the shortest trip in papal history: less than 4 hours. There he will address two of the most important European institutions: the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesman 
"The European Parliament has 751 elected representatives from 28 member states who represent 508 million citizens. The Council of Europe has an even greater representation of states: 47 states with a population of 800 million people.”

On Thursday, November 28th, he will begin a 3 day visit to Ankara and Istanbul, an intense visit with a strong interreligious tone in a Muslim-majority country. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican Spokesman
"There is, naturally, an attention towards the country, Turkey, also due to its location in the Middle East. There is also interreligious dialogue, because Turkey is a country with a great majority of Muslims. There is a small Catholic community which he, as the Pope always does on his trips, will visit and encourage. He will also visit the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with who he has developed a fraternal friendship for quite some time.”

Pope Francis arrives to Turkey at a very delicate moment for the Christians who live on the border with Iraq and Syria. Many have fled the area due to the Islamic State's extermination of those unwilling to convert to Islam.

Although the Pope does not have an official meeting scheduled with them, it is possible that he will greet some refugees who will participate in one of the ceremonies. 


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