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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Why Azerbaijan? Three keys to the pope's upcoming trip

2016-09-22

When the Vatican announced the pope's trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan, it raised many eyebrows. People knew very little about the country, and many did not even know where it was. With a 95 percent Muslim population, it lies in the Caucasus, the region between the Black and the Caspian Sea. 

Stefan Kormancik is a one of the few Catholic priests to have served in Azerbaijan, and he is one of the key contributors to the establishment of the Salesian mission, that serves a small Catholic community of less than 300 churchgoers. He gives us the keys of the pope's trip to this exotic destination. 

FR. STEFAN KORMANCIK
"Before John Paul II visited Azerbaijan we were absolutely unrecognized by the state, because we are a very very small community, after his visit we received land, we built a church, we established a small but very influential community in Azerbaijan, and we hope to continue in this way, so more Catholic, typical Catholic activities will be accepted by the state, after Francis' visit."

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnically Armenian and non-Muslim region. The conflict has been ongoing since the 90s, and has taken many lives, including those of 75 soldiers last April. Fr. Stefan Kormancik hopes the pope's visit will promote reconciliation. 

FR. STEFAN KORMANCIK
"I think no one wants this conflict in the future, so we need to somehow forgive, to give mercy and love each other, and we hope the pope's visit will bring this idea for this conflict.”

During his trip, Pope Francis will meet with the Grand Mufti of the Caucasus. According to Fr. Stefan Kormancik, Azerbaijan is a great example of Pope Francis' spirit of interfaith cooperation.

FR. STEFAN KORMANCIK
"In Azerbaijan there is a very special situation in which two religions live in peace and freedom, we visit each other, I many times have participated in Muslim feasts, Muslim representatives have participated in Christian feasts. You cannot see it very often."

Pope Francis will spend October 2 in Azerbaijan, in what will be a short but very intense visit. He will travel there after his trip to Georgia. These two visits, together with the trip to Armenia last June, are proof of Pope Francis' intentions of reaching out to the Caucasus region.


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