Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope expresses sorrow at decision to turn Hagia Sophia back to a mosque

Pope Audience

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/12/20

After nearly 100 years as a museum, one-time cathedral will again be a place of worship for Islam.

After praying the midday Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis responded briefly to Turkey’s recent decision to turn the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.

After mentioning Sea Sunday celebrated on the second Sunday of July, the Holy Father said that speaking about the ocean “brought his thoughts a little farther on: to Istanbul. I think of Santa Sofia, and I’m very grieved” (the words he used in Italian were molto addolorato.)

The small crowd of pilgrims gathered in the Square applauded the pope’s words.


Hagia Sophia

Read more:
Scientists digitally recreate Hagia Sophia acoustics

After some weeks of discussion, Turkey ruled Friday that the Hagia Sophia would become a mosque again. It has been open as a museum since 1935.

The structure was built under the Emperor Justinian in the mid 500s, and was the main cathedral for the Byzantine Empire. When Constantinople (now Istanbul) was captured in 1453 by the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a mosque.

Its Greek name translates as Holy Wisdom, referring to the Wisdom of God. Turks today refer to it as Ayasofya.




Read more:
Orthodox group asks Trump to intervene to “save” Hagia Sophia


Hagia Sophia

Read more:
Armenian leader in Turkey suggests Muslims and Christians share Hagia Sophia

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
4
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
5
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
6
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
7
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.