“I will be visiting Greece and Cyprus in the first weekend of December,” Pope Francis told Argentinian news agency Telam during an interview on Friday, explaining that the Holy See was still working on the final agenda for this trip.
The pontiff also affirmed that he “had in mind” two trips, to the Congo and to Hungary.
According to Italian media, the pontiff is likely to visit refugee facilities at the island of Lesvos.
Pope Francis last visited Lesvos in April 2016, when he met with both Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymos after which he returned to Italy with 12 of the refugees.
Pope Francis had told refugees trapped on the Greek island of Lesbos at the time that they are “not alone” in their plight, and called on the world to respond with “common humanity” to the migrant crisis.
In preparation for the visit, cardinals will arrive at the island on Thursday accompanied by Greek Migration and Asylum Ministry officials. They will visit the island’s Mavrovouni (Kara Tepe) temporary refugee camp, which is on the pope’s itinerary while on the island.
Meanwhile, Catholic Archbishop for the Aegean Islands Iosif Printesis, also Metropolitan of the islands of Naxos, Tinos, Andros and Mykonos, arrived at Lesvos on Wednesday.
This post was last modified on October 23, 2021 12:59 pm