‘ POPE FRANCIS’S VISIT TO TURKEY WILL BRING STRONGER TIES OF EAST & WEST CHURCHES ‘
#AceNewsServices – ROME – Nov.15 – Prior to Pope Francis’s visit to Turkey, the Vatican stated that the pontiff is hoping to build stronger ties between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in Turkey The Daily Sabah reported.
Catholic and Orthodox clergy came together in central Istanbul last month during an important church service to commemorate Saint Francis of Assisi, whose feast day fell on Oct. 4.
Held in the Catholic Church of St. Anthony of Padua, just off the city’s bustling Istiklal Avenue, the Mass was celebrated by Bishop Louis Pelatre, the Catholic Church’s senior figure in Turkey’s largest metropolis.
The service came ahead of Pope Francis’s planned visit to Turkey on Nov. 28-30. The 76-year-old Argentinian pontiff delivered a speech to the Orientale Lumen Foundation last month where he said he wished to “overcome the obstacles that still divide us.”
According to the Vatican, the pontiff also said he hoped to build stronger ties between the two churches.
Father Remzi Diril, a newly-ordained priest of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Beyoğlu, described the visit as important for Christian unity.
“We believe it will strengthen relations between the Eastern and Western churches. We don’t have any doubt about that,” he said.