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Pope gets ready for one day trip to Bosnia- Herzegovina

It will be a Papal visit to encourage forgiveness, peace and justice.  This will be the main purpose of the Pope's one day visit to Bosnia- Herzegovina on Saturday June 6th. 

There's high anticipation for the visit. Especially since the country is still recuperating from the political and ethnic tension triggered by war. A war that claimed more than 100,000 lives from 1992 to 1995. 

It's a division that's still seen in the country's presidency. There's a Serb leader, a Croat and a Bosnian. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI

Vatican Spokesperson

"The country has three presidents. They are elected for four year terms and every eight months they rotate the presidential seat.â? 

The Pope's one day visit will be intense. He will leave from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 7.30 a.m for a short one and a half hour flight. 

After visiting the presidential palace, the Pope will make his way to Sarajevo's Olympic Stadium in the popemobile to celebrate Mass. It's actually the same spot where John Paul II celebrated a Mass back in the 90's. Up to 60,000 people are expected. 

Catholics are a minority, making up roughly 15 percent of the population. Orthodox account for 30 percent and Muslims about 40. 

He will then head to the city's nunciature to meet with six local Bishops for an informal meeting. Then the Pope go to the city's Cathedral to meet with seminarians, priests and religious. 

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI

Vatican Spokesperson

"Three people will share their testimony. The Pope will hear from a priest and a male and female religious. Their testimony will be heartfelt and intense. Given the history of the country, it will also be dramatic.â? 

Afterwards an inter-religious meeting will take place in a Franciscan center. There the Pope will meet with a Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox and Jewish leader. 

As of now visit to Medjugorje is not expected. In fact the Vatican has yet to issue a conclusive statement on the reported apparitions. 

The Pope is scheduled to fly back to Rome at 7.30 p.m 

KLH 

MG

JM

-BN

Up:JRB

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