Pope Francis to visit Romania: Vatican

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VATICAN CITY, Jan 11, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Pope Francis will visit Romania for
three days from May 31 to June 2, the Vatican announced on Friday.

“Welcoming the invitation of the president, state authorities and the
Catholic Church in Romania, the Holy Father will make an apostolic journey to
the country from May 31 to June 2, 2019,” the Vatican statement said.

The statement said programme details would be revealed later.

The visit will be the second in quick succession the 82-year-old
Argentinian makes to the region as he is due in Bulgaria, then Macedonia from
May 5 to 7.

The leader of the Catholic Church is looking at a full schedule for 2019
having already pencilled in a February trip to Abu Dhabi and Morocco in
March.

That will follow hard on the heels of World Youth Day, which the pontiff
will attend in Panama in January.

Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania are home to small Catholic minorities with
all three nations overwhelmingly Orthodox.

Visiting predominantly Orthodox nations will reinforce the image Francis
wishes to project of a church seeking wider dialogue with other branches of
Christendom as well as other faiths.

Looking further ahead, Francis has said he hopes to visit Japan in 2019
and a trip to Madagascar has also been mentioned.

But the Vatican has yet to unveil which invitations from Catholic nations
will be taken up over the next 12 months.

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