Monday, November 13, 2006

Papal Visit

Pope's Schedule for Turkey Visit Released

By The Universe ( The Vatican press office has published a general outline of the itinerary and agenda for Benedict XVI's upcoming apostolic trip to Turkey.

The Pope will kick-off the visit with a trip to the Mausoleum of Ataturk, "Father of the Turks," who proclaimed the Turkish republic in 1923. He will then attend a welcome ceremony as well as a courtesy visit to Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

The Pontiff will then meet with the deputy prime minister before meeting with the president of religious affairs, Ali Bardokoglu, Grand Mufti and the country's highest Muslim authority.

The following day, Benedict XVI will travel to Smyrna, the country's third-largest city, known as "The Pearl of the Aegean," from where he will go to Ephesus, the city where the Apostle Paul lived and was captive, and where, according to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist also lived.

The Pope will then fly to Istanbul where he will pray at the Patriarchal Church of St George, before having a private meeting with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

On the morning of November 30, the Pope will take part in the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul. He will then deliver an address and sign a joint declaration.

After the ceremony, he will lunch with Bartholomew I in the patriarchate. In the afternoon, he will visit the St. Sophia Museum.

Then Benedict XVI will then go to the Armenian Apostolic cathedral, where he will pray and meet and greet Patriarch Mesrob I.

The Pope will also meet with the Syro-Orthodox metropolitan and the chief rabbi of Turkey before meeting with the members of the country's Catholic bishops' conference.

The Pope’s final appointment on Friday December 1, will be to preside over the celebration of Mass in Istanbul's Cathedral of the Holy Ghost where he will deliver a homily.


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