Turkish President Erdoğan ordered Aug. 21 that Chora Church, a much-visited site in the Fatih district of Istanbul, be turned into a mosque and opened for Muslim worship.
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The Pope’s comments followed the publication of articles in the Orthodox Christian media asking why the Vatican had not commented on the decision.
The Basilica of Hagia Sophia was built in 537 under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and for a time, was the largest building in the world and the largest Christian church.
Manchin stated that the airstrikes are “particularly threatening to hundreds of traumatized Yazidi families attempting to return to Sinjar and to other civilians in northern Iraq—none of whom deserve to be placed in harm’s way by a NATO ally.”
A Franciscan priest in Istanbul said living the Christian faith amid Muslims ‘demands a purification of the faith.’
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I praised how Pope Francis exercises his Petrine ministry as the head of the Catholic Church.
The Pope prayed at the Muslim mosque in Istanbul, alongside the grand mufti of Ankara.
Bartholomew I says Pope Francis’ presence in Istanbul is a symbolic ‘bridging’ of the East and the West.