By Jim Fair

Pope Francis on Sunday, July 12, 2020, had warm greeting for seafarers but admitted he is saddened when thinking of Hagia Sophia, the basilica in Istanbul that has been converted to a Mosque.

“The International Day of the Sea falls on this second Sunday in July. I extend warm greetings to all those who work on the sea, especially to those who are far from their loved ones and their country,” the Holy Father said. “I greet all those who gathered this morning at the port of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia for the Eucharistic Celebration.

“And the sea carries me a little farther away in my thoughts: to Istanbul. I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened.”

This week, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced his decision to turn the Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque.

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