On Saturday, April 16, Pope Francis will begin his journey to Lesbos from Fiumicino airport. He will be travelling together with “brothers the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Hieronymos, to express their closeness and solidarity to refugees, to the citizens of Lesbos, and to all the Greek people for their generous hospitality”.
The Holy Father will reach Mytilene airport, where he will be welcomed by Greek Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras. Then he will be greeted by His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and by His Beatitude Hieronymos, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, and finally by His Excellency Monsignor Fragkiskos Papamanolis, president of the Greek Bishops’ Conference.
After a private meeting with Tsipras in Mytilene, Francis will visit Moria refugee camp in the company of Bartholomew and Archbishop Hieronymos. There, the three religious leaders will hold their speech, right in the courtyard where refugees get registered. Then they will sign a joint declaration and have lunch with some refugees.
Subsequently, the Pope will travel to the presidium of the Coast Guard, where a meeting with citizens and with the Catholic community is planned. At the end of Francis’s speech, the three spiritual leaders will recite a prayer for the victims of migration together. Only after a private meeting with the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, the Ecumenical Patriarch, and with the Greek Prime Minister, Francis will return to Mytilene airport and fly back to Italy.