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  • » 04/06/2016, 09.26

    VATICAN - ORTHODOX

    Pope Francis, Bartholomew I and the Archbishop Hieronymos with migrants in Lesbos on 14 or 15 April. Maybe



    The Vatican press office said that the idea is being considered, but does not confirm dates or details. The Pope has been invited by the Greek-Orthodox Synod and the Greek president. Both Orthodox primate of Greece Hieronymos and Bartholomew, confirm their presence on Lesbos.

     

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis could accompany the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Orthodox primate of Greece Archbishop Hieronymos, on a visit to migrants and refugees on the island of Lesbos.

    The director of the Vatican press office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said that the Pope wishes to make this visit, but he cannot confirm dates or details.

    What we know for now is that the Greek Orthodox Church has expressed the wish that Pope Francis visit the island where hundreds of thousands of migrants have been herded together.  Most of them are from the Middle East and Africa and are waiting to enter Europe or be returned to Turkey or their homeland, according to an agreement drawn up between the EU and Turkey.

    A statement from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople confirmed that the Pope, Hieronymus and Bartholomew will visit Lesbos "in the very near future." The Greek site Romfea.gr instead reports that the Pope will certainly be present and that the visit will take place at the end of next week, with the presence of the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

    The visit has also made headlines in Greek media who point to a Greek Orthodox Synod document, which speaks of Pope Francis’s wishes and the visit, as well as the invitation to the pontiff by the Greek president.

    Unofficial Greek government sources say that the visit should take place on 14-15 April and should last a few hours.

    A visit by Pope Francis to Lesbos, along with the patriarch and primate would be a very strong gesture to push the European Union to change its policy towards migrants. According to Orthodox observers, a meeting of the Pope with the Primate and Bartholomew would also give help focus attention on the Great Orthodox Synod, scheduled for June 16 to 27 next in Crete.

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    See also

    29/11/2006 VATICAN – TURKEY
    Benedict XVI meets Bartholomew I, together for full unity
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    10/09/2005 VATICAN - TURKEY
    Turkey confirms preparations are under way for papal visit


    16/06/2009 TURKEY
    Historic Orthodox decision, migrant communities to have their own bishops’ conferences
    The first preparatory meeting of the Pan-Orthodox Synod makes the decision. In doing so the close correlation of the Christian message to the ethnic origin of believers has been surmounted; until recently the issue created difficulties and was often misunderstood and exploited. The decision of the Moscow Patriarch to make his first foreign trip to Constantinople is a significant step.

    11/12/2009 TURKEY
    Turkey prepares to join EU in a building confiscated from the Orthodox
    The new headquarters of the Secretariat for entry into the European Union is an old school of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy, seized in '90. Embarrassment of Erdogan government and Europe.

    14/03/2013 TURKEY - VATICAN
    Bartholomew I: Francis is a new impetus on two Churches path towards unity
    The telegram of greetings and congratulations of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to Pope Bergoglio. As with John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Bartholomew I renews his appreciation and support for the bishop of Rome.



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