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14 Mar 2015

Belarus’ Catholic community deserves Pope’s visit, Cardinal Parolin says

MINSK, 16 March (BelTA) - The Catholic community of Belarus deserves a visit of Pope Francis, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters in Minsk on 14 March, BelTA has learned.

"I think that this wish (of the Catholics of Belarus to see Pope Francis in Belarus– note by BelTA) deserves to be accommodated both in the light of the past sufferings of the Catholic community in Belarus, and in view of its contribution to the re-establishment and development of the religious life in Belarus,” Cardinal Parolin said.

The Vatican's Secretary of State said that apart from the willingness on the part of the Catholic community of Belarus, invitations for the Pope's visit have also come from all branches of state power. "This invitation and a desire to see Pope Francis in Belarus was a common element in all my meetings in the government," the Cardinal said. With regard to the possible date for such a visit, it can be defined in the future. "I can only hope that the conditions will be formed so that the Pope could respond to the wishes of the religious community and accept an invitation from the authorities," said Pietro Parolin.

The Vatican's Secretary of State recalled that on 13 March he had already stated that he would like his visit to precede a visit of Pope Francis to Belarus.

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