Pope Francis to Make Apostolic Voyage to France in 2015

The Holy Father is scheduled to visit the European Parliament and the Council of Europe Nov. 25.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will visit France in November 2015, the Vatican announced.

“In the context of the publication of the schedule of the Pope to the European Parliament and to the Council of Europe that will take place Nov. 25, I can now say that the Holy Father intends to make an apostolic voyage to France in the coming year, 2015,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in an Oct. 7 statement.

The announcement of Pope Francis’ projected visit to France marks his second international trip set for 2015, the first being a Jan. 12-19 visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The January papal trip — which will be the second to Asia in six months — was informally announced by the Holy Father in May, during a press conference he held aboard a plane returning from the Holy Land. He will travel to Sri Lanka Jan. 12-15 and to the Philippines Jan. 15-19.

In its statement, the Vatican also published the Pope’s schedule for his Nov. 25 visit to the European Parliament and to the Council of Europe.

Leaving just before 8am, Pope Francis is expected to land in Strasbourg around 10am, and he will travel to the European Parliament for a 10:35am meeting, where he is due to address all of its members.

After his speech for the parliament, the Pope will pay a visit to the European Council at noon, where he will also give an address. He will head to the airport after the meeting and is expected to arrive back in Rome just before four in the afternoon.

Shortly after his visit to the European Parliament, Pope Francis will travel to Turkey, where it is anticipated that he will go to Istanbul Nov. 30, in order to celebrate the feast of St. Andrew, who is the founder of the Eastern Church and patron of the Orthodox world.

According to Vatican Radio, a delegation from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity frequently travels to Turkey for the celebration; however, this year, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople invited Francis to participate in person.

Should Pope Francis attend festivities in Istanbul, he would follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who traveled to the cities of Ankara, Ephesus and Istanbul in November 2006.

Pope Francis’ full schedule for his visit to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014:
7:55am Depart for Strasbourg by plane from Rome's Fiumicino airport
10am Arrive at the International Airport of Strasbourg/Entzheim
10:35am Visit to the European Parliament
12:05pm Visit to the Council of Europe
1:50pm Depart for Rome by plane
3:50pm Arrive at Rome’s Ciampino Airport