|"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.(Photo by=Aljazeera)|
[아시아뉴스통신=레악카나 기자] Pope Francis has said he was hurt by Turkey's decision to make Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum a mosque, but Ankara said the decision will maintain a relationship of equality and mutual respect in the country.Erdogan on Friday formally converted the building back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled the 1934 decision.
It was the Vatican's first reaction to Turkey's decision to transform the Byzantine-era monument back into a mosque, a move that has drawn criticism from around the world. "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. The World Council of Churches has called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reverse his decision and Patriarch Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, called it disappointing.
On Saturday, Erdogan rejected international condemnation over the decision to change the status of Istanbul's landmark Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. Bishop Hilarion, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church's department for external church relations, described it as "a blow to global Christianity". The World Council of Churches, which represents 350 Christian churches, said it had written to Erdogan expressing their "grief and dismay".