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Pope Francis says he is ‘deeply pained’ over Turkey’s decision on Hagia Sophia – Fox News

Pope Francis said on Sunday that he is “deeply pained” over the decision by Turkey to change the status of Hagia Sophia — which was originally built in Istanbul as a Christian cathedral — from a museum to a mosque.

In a very brief, improvised remark, Francis, speaking from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, noted that the Catholic Church marked Sunday as International Day of the Sea. “And the sea brings me a little far away with my thought: to Istanbul,” the pontiff said. “I am thinking of St. Sophia and I am deeply pained.”

Pope Francis delivers his blessing to faithful during the Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, July 12, 2src2src. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis delivers his blessing to faithful during the Angelus prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sunday, July 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

TURKEY’S PRESIDENT FORMALLY MAKES HAGIA SOPHIA A MOSQUE

Francis said no more but was clearly referring to the move by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to formally convert the monumental building back into a mosque. The colossal Santa Sophia cathedral was turned into a mosque after the Ottomans conquered the city in 1453. The Turkish secular government in 1934 decided to make it a museum.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally reconverted Hagia Sophia into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally reconverted Hagia Sophia into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The pope, who heads the Roman Catholic Church, is adding his voice to strong objections a day earlier by the head of the Geneva-based World Council of Churches.

That organization described its “grief and dismay” in noting that Hagia Sophia has been “a place of openness, encounter and inspiration for people from all nations.” The council’s membership comprises Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches.

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Erdogan declared the monument open for Muslim worship after a high court annulled the 1934 government decision.

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Francis Warns

Pope Francis warns society against reverting to individualism after the pandemic – CNN

Rome (CNN)Pope Francis has warned the world against returning to the “illusion of individualism” after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Francis made a statement from the Vatican on Sunday, praising healthcare workers in Italy’s Lombardy region who stood by their patients during the pandemic’s “troubled months.”
Lombardy was Italy’s worst-affected region at the height of the pandemic.
Francis later warned people to “be careful,” and not to allow individualism to again become “the guiding principle of society.”
Francis used the health care workers as an example to make his point, saying their professionalism was “one of the pillars of [Italy].” The Pope described the medical workers as “angels.”
Francis also thanked priests for showing “courage and love to the people.”
In April, he said the pandemic could be one of “nature’s responses” to humans ignoring the current ecological crisis.
The pandemic radically changed the way the Vatican operates, forcing the Pope to celebrating Palm Sunday mass in an empty church. After months of lockdown, worshippers returned to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City at the end of May.

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