On Tuesday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in calling for a “Day of Mourning” on Friday, July 24, when the conversion of the building into a mosque takes place.
“We join the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in offering our prayers for the restoration of Hagia Sophia as a place of prayer and reflection for all peoples,” the bishops’ conference said. “The museum was a place of encounter and dialogue between people of all faiths and cultures.
The Greek Orthodox have asked that every Church toll its bells, every flag be raised to half-mast and that the Akathist Hymn is chanted in the evening.
For Catholics unfamiliar with the Akathist Hymn, the recitation of the Rosary is recommended, as both prayers entreat the Mother of God for her intercession.”