Vatican’s envoy in Bucharest: Pursue efforts for Pope Francis’s visit to Romania

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Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher stated on Tuesday that the Vatican and the Romanian authorities are pursuing the efforts to bring the Holy Father on a visit to Romania.

“I have gladly found out about the Government’s and the Romanian people’s desire to receive the visit of Pope Francisc and I believe that we can pursue the efforts to see that desire accomplished in the future,” Archbishop Gallagher told a joint press statement after the meeting with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Teodor Melescanu.

He affirmed that the talks with the head of the Romanian diplomacy were also “an opportunity to share the concerns of the Catholic population in Romania, but also from around the world and to discuss important issues.”

The Vatican official underscored the Holy See’s interest in contributing to “Europe’s future.”

Archbishop Gallagher and Minister Melescanu also discussed about the situation in the Balkans, the Middle East and about the issue of the Middle East and sub-Saharan migrants.

“We appreciate Romania’s efforts to welcome migrants from Syria and other places and to contribute to the assistance of refugees in camps,” Paul Richard Gallagher said. He specified that he is meeting on Tuesday with representatives of the Executive and Parliament.

Minister Teodor Melescanu spoke, in his turn, about organising a visit of Pope Francis.

“Taking into consideration the extremely important symbolism of the event, for the representatives of all religions included, we have consented to make coordinated efforts for this highly important visit to be organised under the best conditions,” he pointed out.

Minister Melescanu appreciated “the remarkably valuable support of the Holy See so that a centre of Romanian language, literature and civilisation be set up within the Pontifical Oriental Institute, starting with the 2017-2018 academic year.”

He added that he talked to the Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See about “cooperation, promoting religious liberty, human dignity, and worldwide peace.”

Minister Melescanu also mentioned the Catholic Church’s support in integrating the Romanian communities abroad. “This gesture of fraternization has helped the Romanian communities to integrate more rapidly and far better in the respective societies,” he said.

According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Tuesday’s talks revealed that “Romania and the Holy See share similar views as regards Europe’s future, migration or the eastern vicinity.”

The two dignitaries also discussed the situation in the Republic of Moldova.

“Romania will continue to back the European path of the Republic of Moldova and will advocate the strengthening of the European support for the authorities in Chisinau, based on the implementation of the reform agenda,” Minister Melescanu communicated.

As regards the situation in the Middle East, the two officials agreed that “political solutions” are needed for the crises in the region, Teodor Melescanu stated.