With the Synod of Bishops wrapped up this week was rather quiet at the Vatican. One surprise did arrive: the Vatican announced that Pope Francis will be visiting Turkey at the end of November.
He will fly to Ankara on November 28, where he will meet with government officials. From there he continues on to Istanbul where he will stop at the Haiga Sofia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (known as the "Blue Mosque"). While in Istanbul Pope Francis will take part in an ecumenical prayer service and celebrate a Divine Liturgy. In between he will meet privately with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
In a talk to the Orientale Lumen Foundation the pope said his visit to Turkey and his meeting there with Patriarch Bartholmew is a sign of hte profound ties that unite Rome and Constantinople, and the mutual desire to overcome the obstacles that separate the two churches.
Also this week the Vatican released the schedule of liturgical celebrations that the Pope Francis will take part in during the month of November:
November 1 - Solemnity of All Saints
Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at Rome's Verano cemetery
November 2 - All Souls
Pope Francis will hold a prayer service in the Vatican Grottoes to remember all the faithful departed
Pope Francis will preside at a Mass to remember all the cardinals and bishops who died in the past year
November 23 - Solemnity of Christ the King
Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at 10:30 am in St. Peter's square to canonize six new saints:
Giovanni Antonio Farina
Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family
Ludovico da Casoria
Nicola da Longobardi
Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart