Pope Francis will travel to Turkey in late November, according to a report in Crux, the news service recently launched by the Boston Globe.
The Vatican has not announced plans for a papal visit to Turkey.
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has invited the Pope
to visit, but Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not issued an
Citing sources in the Turkish embassy to the Holy See, Crux said that
Pope Francis will travel to Istanbul, where he will join Orthodox
Patriarch Bartholomew I in celebrating the feast of St. Andrew, the
patron of the Constantinople see, on November 30.
Each year, the Holy See sends a delegation to join the Ecumenical
Patriarch in celebrating his patronal feast. In turn, an Orthodox
delegation travels to Rome each year to join the Pope for the feast of
Sts. Peter and Paul. Pope Benedict XVI made the trip himself in 2006,
joining in the celebration of the feast of St. Andrew. Patriarch
Bartholomew had previously traveled to Rome in 2004 to celebrate the
feast of Sts. Peter and Paul with Pope John Paul II.
The visit to Turkey would also bring the Pontiff close to Iraq, and
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has urged Pope Francis to visit
that country. The Iraqi prelate reminded reporters that the Pope has
said that he is willing to travel to Iraq, and added that "we need his
presence." The Chaldean Patriarch said: "He is our father, and a father
not only thinks and says words to encourage his children, but is also
near to them."