People of faith, particularly Christians and Muslims, must work together for peace, Pope Francis said in his weekly audience.
Istanbul -- Visiting an ancient Christian community, Pope Francis called on the church to "throw off defensiveness" to overcome misunderstanding.
Istanbul -- Pope Francis will wade into a complex mix of ecumenical, interreligious, and global political affairs as he visits continent-straddling Turkey through the weekend.
Almost every papal trip abroad is a complex mix of the religious and political, and that will be especially true of Pope Francis' Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey.
Pope Francis' penchant for austerity and humility will face a diplomatic challenge when he visits Turkey's new ostentatious presidential palace on his first visit to the country later this month.
Francis will be the first foreign dignitary to be welcomed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the new 1,000-room palace when he visits Ankara on Nov. 28.
Turkish architects have written to the pope urging him not to go to the palace built by Erdogan and known locally as the "White Palace."
Francis will make the trip at the request of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Turkish bishops.
The challenge posed by the Islamic State, the violent Islamic movement that has swept across northeastern Syria and western Iraq, should be surmountable.
A Franciscan priest was among about 20 Christians kidnapped from a Syrian village near the border with Turkey the night of Oct. 5-6, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said.
Franciscan Fr. Hanna Jallouf and the others were abducted from Knayeh, a small Christian village in northwestern Syria, the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land confirmed Tuesday.
The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis is planning to visit Turkey "in the last days of November," but said the length of his trip and his agenda in the country have yet to be determined.
Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, made the announcement to reporters Friday, noting that a formal invitation from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had arrived at the Vatican earlier in the day.
Pope Francis will visit Turkey in November, eight years after his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, made a landmark visit to the predominantly Muslim country.
Turkey's newly elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, extended a formal invitation to Francis, and the Turkish Embassy to the Holy See confirmed Tuesday that the pope has accepted.
"The pope has been invited by both the Orthodox Church and the government and he is expected to meet the president during his visit," an embassy representative said.