Pope Francis will visit Turkey from 28
to 30 November. This was
announced on Tuesday morning, 21
October, by Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office,
explaining that the Pope “accepted the invitation of the President of the
Republic, of His Holiness Bartholomew I
and the President of the Episcopal Conference”. The Holy Father will also visit
Ankara and Istanbul.
During the press conference the schedule of the Pope's apostolic journey was also
announced. In Ankara
on the first day, the Holy Father
will visit the mausoleum of Atatürk,
“Father of the Nation”, and meet with the highest State authorities. On
Saturday, 29 November, the Bishop of
Rome will travel to Istanbul
for the religious part of the visit. At the museum of Hagia Sophia
and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque the Pope will meet with the Muslim community; then
he will celebrate Mass in the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, where he
will also take part in the ecumenical prayer service in the Patriarchal Church
of St George. The Pope and Bartholomew I will meet privately in the Patriarchal Palace. On the last day, Sunday 30,
Feast of St Andrew the Apostle, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the Patriarchal Church
with the ecumenical blessing and the signing of the Joint Declaration.
Finally the Pope will have lunch with the Ecumenical Patriarch.