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Serbia: Visit by Card. Parolin. “Pope Francis’ visit can take place only under right conditions”

Il cardinale Parolin benedice la nuova sede della Conferenza episcopale internazionale "Ss. Cirillo e Metodio". Nell'altra foto con il patriarca Irinej

“Pope Francis’ visit to Serbia can take place only under the right conditions and when everyone agrees”, Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters in Novi Sad (Serbia) as he responded to a question about the possibility of a Papal visit to the Balkan country. From 30 June to 1 July, the Vatican Secretary of State has been in Serbia. The cardinal went on to say that he “shares the desire of many people who look forward to a visit by Pope Francis, but even if there are better conditions now than before, there is still no comprehensive framework for the visit. During his stay, Card. Parolin had a “cordial meeting with the Serbian Patriarch Irinej”, the website of the Serbian Patriarchate reports. The two leaders exchanged views on various topics of common interest about the life of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
 But a Papal visit to Belgrade would need to be authorised by the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which has not given its consent yet. Also yesterday, in Novi Sad, the Vatican Secretary of State blessed the new premises of the International Bishops’ Conference of “Sts. Cyril and Methodius”, calling it “another sign of the presence of the Catholic Church in Serbia”. The ceremony was attended by all member Bishops of the Conference. During the Mass celebrated in the “Name of Mary” Church and broadcast on the regional TV channel of Vojvodina, Cardinal Parolin invited Catholics to “promote and further strengthen their relations with other Christian Churches”.

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