Pope to visit Turkey in November – he will meet Erdogan and Bartholomew

Pope to visit Turkey in November – he will meet Erdogan and Bartholomew

 

Review Hari Stefanatos

Head of the Roman Catholic Church Pope Francis will have an official visit to Turkey from November 28 to 30, where he will go to Ankara and Istanbul for a series of meetings with the Turkish political leadership and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Pope Francis will visit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, and will participate in an ecumenical prayer at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Fener, wjile he will also sign a joint declaration with Ecumenical Patriarch with whom is a close friend.

The pontiff was invited to Turkey by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Patriarch Bartholomew and the president of the Episcopal Synod. His visit comes eight years after the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

According to the schedule of the visit, announced on Tuesday by the Vatican, Friday, November 28, the Pope will be in Ankara where we will first visit the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk and will then have a meeting with Erdogan in the presidential palace. Then we will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

On Saturday, the pontiff will visit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, which was also visited in November 2006 by Pope Benedict.

Then the Pope will officiate in a service in the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and will attend an ecumenical prayer at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Fener.

This will be followed by a private meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew, who was invited in June at the Vatican for the universal prayer for peace in the Holy Land, in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres.

On Sunday, the Pope will celebrate the feast of St. Andrew with the Ecumenical Patriarch and will both sign a Joint Declaration.

Security measures for the Pope’s visit to Turkey will be draconian amid the tension that has been sparked in the country by the action of the jihadist so called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.