President Klaus Iohannis has stated on Saturday that the meeting he had on the previous day with Pope Francis was an “emotional and very good” meeting, adding that among the topics of discussion were the situation in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and the migration phenomenon of Northern Africa.
“I have obviously discussed the situation in Ukraine, a bit about Moldova, about the very complicated situation created in the Mediterranean Sea region regarding the migration coming from Northern Africa”, said Iohannis.
The head of state added that His Holiness showed high interest in the general situation of Romania, the situation of churches in Romania and of ethnic minorities. Asked when Pope Francis will visit Romania, Iohannis showed that 2018 would be an adequate year.
“We believe that 2018 would be an adequate year for this visit, but this requires detailed negotiations using usual diplomatic means”, said Klaus Iohannis.
President Iohannis has conducted, on May 14-16, an official visit to the Holy See and Italy. The head of state has visited on Thursday the Expo Milano 2015 while on Friday he was welcomed, at the Vatican, by Pope Francis. On Saturday, Iohannis has met with the leadership of the Sant’Egidio Community and has visited the Santa Maria Basilica in Trastevere.
Romania grants special attention to relations with Holy See
Klaus Iohannis has stated in Rome, that Romania grants special attention to its relations with the Holy See and holds in high regard the vision of His Holiness Pope Francis regarding the need to create more solidarity, more dialogue in society, as well as regarding the urgency of fighting the issues that plague the modern world.
The head of state has visited the Pio Romeno Pontifical College and has participated in a short religious service officiated in the college’s chapel.
“Romania has, through its history and culture, the history of a special relationship with the Holy See that it has expressed numerous times through ecumenical dialogue and through the recognition of the role of churches in society. Our wish is to develop and deepen the excellent collaboration existing at present in the framework of bilateral relations”, said Iohannis in the speech he hold on the occasion.
He hailed the College’s activity, showing that it was and is a place of “glowing spirituality and culture” and reminded in this context of hierarchs, such as Iuliu Hossu, that have known the “persecution and martyrdom” of communist times.
President Klaus Iohannis was welcomed, on Friday, by Pope Francis, the head of state being joined by his wife, Carmen Iohannis, and the presidential delegation. A release remitted later on by the Presidential Administration mentions the fact that Pope Francis has accepted the invitation of President Klaus Iohannis to visit Romania, with the exact date to be convened another time.