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Pope Francis

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World

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Pope Francis

Pope names a Special Envoy for Medjugorje

< style> February 11, 2017. Pope Francis has asked Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., bishop of Warsaw-Prague (Poland), to go to Medjugorje as Special Envoy of the Holy See. According< g> the Vatican, "the mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.

Lukashenko visits Pope after decade-long travel ban

2009-04-27

Among the topics discussed during the 25-minute audience with the Pope, were Belarus’ domestic issues as well as issues relating to the Catholic church in Belarus.

Lukashenko has long been accused of suppressing human rights in his former Soviet republic.  But icy relations with the West are starting to thaw.  His meeting with the Pope and with members of the Italian government are an important first step, as improving relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church could be the first step toward bridging Belarus with Europe.

Although Belarus is about 60 percent Orthodox Christian and 14 percent Catholic, the faithful are faced with laws that restrict religious freedom, such as limiting the number of foreign priests.

Lukashenko made the visit to the Pope with his 5-year-old son, Nikolai, and ended the meeting with an invitation to the Pope to visit Belarus, maybe for the first meeting between a Pope and a Moscow Patriarch.

CS