Currents News Staff
Pope Francis traveled to a divided Cyprus to begin the 35th apostolic journey of his pontificate.
There he met with religious leaders before being received in the Presidential Palace to meet with the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and address the country’s civil leaders.
He also celebrated Mass in Cyprus and prayed with migrants living on the island before departing for the second leg of his trip in Greece. In Athens, Pope Francis was received by the Greek President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and the country’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The Holy Father then met with the Orthodox Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece, Ieronymous II, where he apologized for the historic treatment of Orthodox Christians by Catholics. He also met with the Catholic minority community in Greece.
The following day, Pope Francis visited a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, where he condemned the lack of action in addressing the refugee crisis on the part of governments. He also celebrated Mass for about 1,000 people in Athens.
On his final day in Greece, the pontiff visited children at a Catholic school in Athens, before heading to the airport to make his way back to Rome just days before his 85th birthday.