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.
Faith and Justice: The news around the world is tragic and depressing. Our choices are: do nothing, use diplomacy, impose sanctions, or intervene militarily. Are there other options?
NCR Today: Pope Francis meets with victims of clergy sex abuse, asks forgiveness for "sins of omission"; Catholics scramble to help Christians in Iraq; and more.
But for the tragedy in the Philippines, 2013 is ending as a quiet year for humanitarian events, right? Not necessarily.