Europe

Vatican: Talks about possible pope trip to Greece underway

  • Pope Francis caresses a child as he makes a tour of St. Peter's Square at the end of a Mass for the the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis caresses a child as he makes a tour of St. Peter's Square at the end of a Mass for the the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis caresses a child as he makes a tour of St. Peter's Square at the end of a Mass for the the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis caresses a child as he makes a tour of St. Peter's Square at the end of a Mass for the the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

The Vatican says discussions are under way about a possible trip by Pope Francis to Greece as it begins deporting migrants back to Turkey.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi stressed that no decision had been made and no itinerary planned. But in an email Tuesday to The Associated Press he said: "However, I don't deny that there are contacts about a possible trip."

A Greek ecclesiastic website, Dogma, reported Tuesday that Francis was planning to visit refugees in Lesbos next week along with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos.

A controversial European Union plan to stem the flow of refugees began Monday with more than 200 people deported from Greek islands to Turkey.