Eight years ago, same event occurred as Pope Francis Predecessor, Pope Benedict caused dismay among many conservative Catholics and some Muslims when he appeared to pray in the same mosque on his visit to Turkey.
Francis follows the footsteps of predecessor as he mark religious cooperation in moment of silent adoration during Turkey visit. In a gesture designed to highlight his commitment to inter-faith dialogue, Pope Francis conducted a silent prayer alongside a senior Islamic cleric in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque on Saturday. Facing Mecca, Francis bowed his head in prayer for several minutes while standing next to Istanbul’s Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran. The Vatican described the gesture as a “moment of silent adoration” of God.
Speaking at the presidential palace on Saturday, Francis underlined the importance of religious freedom for everyone. “It is essential that all citizens – Muslim, Jewish and Christian – both in the provision and practice of the law, enjoy the same rights and respect the same duties,” he said in a joint press conference with Erdogan.