Vatican City, Apr 7, 2016 / 05:04 am
Pope Francis will travel to the Greek island of Lesbos next Saturday, April 16, where he will meet with ecumenical leaders and refugees, the Vatican announced Thursday.
Director of the Holy See Press office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, told journalists the invitation for the Pope to visit the island came from Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
“Welcoming the invitation,” said Fr. Lombardi, “Pope Francis will travel to Lesbos Saturday, April 16, 2016.”
A Vatican statement released April 7 to journalists said the Pope, along with “His Holiness Bartholomew, and His Holiness Jerome II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, will meet with the refugees accommodated there.”
While on the island, Pope Francis will be joined by Patriarch Bartholomew and His Beatitude Hieronimus II, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, in meeting with the refugees staying on the island.
Fr. Lombardi told journalists that it was a “common” initiative, and that “no one can say who started the initiative. It’s an initiative of all the Christian churches together.”
There is still no schedule for the last-minute trip, however the spokesman explained that a meeting will take place on Tuesday to organize the final details of the trip.
He said that it will be a “brief” visit, but that a meeting with the refugees, a public gathering and an ecumenical encounter are all likely to be included.