Pope Francis on Sunday joined an international chorus of condemnation of Turkey’s decision to convert Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia landmark back into a mosque. “I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened,” Pope Francis said towards the end of his midday sermon in Saint Peter’s Square. It was the Vatican’s first reaction to Turkey’s decision to transform the Byzantine-era monument back into a mosque, a decision that has already drawn criticism from around the world.
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