Pope's Greeting to Journalists Aboard Flight to Ankara

«Your work is a support, a help and also a service to the world»

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Here is a translation of the Pope’s greetings to the journalists accompanying him on his Apostolic Trip to Turkey:

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Father Lombardi [director of the Vatican press office]

Holy Father, thank you for coming to greet us at the beginning of this trip, for which we give you our best wishes. A trip that we know is demanding, be it because of the area to which we are going, be it because of ecumenical relations, inter-religious relations … Therefore, it is brief but very intense and very important. We accompany you with our prayers, with our care and with our support, for what we will be able to do, also as reporters.

As you can see, we are a good little group: there are 65 of us on this trip, representatives of different countries, of different media. As usual, it is somewhat mixed, seeking to take into account be it the media, be it the languages, and so on. Many are people you already know, who follow these trips faithfully. We also have two Turkish ladies accompanying us on this trip: Mrs. Esma Cakir, who greets you, and Mrs. Yasemin Taskin, who also greets you, and who will later be able to ask you questions on the return flight of course.

And we also have another occasion of celebration this morning: there is one of us, who is hiding there in the back, who is 62, in fact, today. It’s his birthday: Jean-Louis de La Vaissiere, and, along with you, we congratulate him.

And now, of course, I give you the microphone, if you would like to say something to us.

Pope Francis:

Good morning. I welcome you and thank you for your company on this trip, because your work is a support, a help and also a service to the world: a service to the world to make known this religious and humanitarian activity, because at this moment Turkey is a witness and offers help to so many refugees of the areas of conflict. I thank you for this service. We will meet again on the return trip for the press conference. Thank you so much and good stay.

Father Lombardi:

Thank you so much, Holy Father. And have a good trip. We will follow you with much attention.

On a trip such as this one, the presence on the flight is very important, because there are two stages and, therefore, they are practically the only journalists who will be present, be it at Ankara be it at Istanbul, to follow your trip close up. Therefore, they will have a very important role in information, and we want to assure you that they will do their best to collaborate with your ministry.

Thank you, Holy Father, and have a good trip.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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