Vatican outlines Pope’s upcoming trip to Georgia, Azerbaijan

The Vatican says Pope Francis will meet with Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders during his Sept. 30-Oct. 2 trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan, adding a strong interreligious dimension to an already politically delicate trip, the Associated Press reports.

The Vatican on Monday released the itinerary for the Caucasus trip, which was originally planned as an extension of Francis’ recent visit to Armenia but was split up.

In Georgia, after meeting with the president, Francis will call on the spiritual leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, and meet with the Assyrian and Chaldean Catholic community. In majority-Muslim Azerbaijan, Francis will celebrate Mass with the tiny Catholic community and meet with the chief imam, the Orthodox bishop of Baku and head of the country’s Jewish community.

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