Source: The Press Project
Pope Francis will visit Lesvos, the Greek island which has been in the spotlight because of the refugee crisis on April 15. The Church of Greece on Tuesday confirmed that it had accepted the Pontiff΄s proposal to visit and had also extended an invitation to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church, to also pay a visit to the island at the same time.
The point of the meeting at Lesvos is to draw international attention on the plight of refugees. In recent weeks, the Pope has repeatedly tried to raise awareness regarding the refugee crisis appealing to all relevant institutions to end the loss of human lives as people try to reach Europe thought the sea in order to escape war and extreme poverty.
According to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, the visit also hopes to mobilise the international community’s efforts for an immediate ceasefire in the Mediterranean and Middle East.
The Greek government expressed its satisfaction for the visit of both Pope Francis and Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew stating it represents some recognition for the effort the country and its citizens is putting to accommodate refugees. It also announced Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece will visit Lesvos with the two spiritual leaders.
Pope John-Paul was the last Pope to visit Greece in 2000.