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Rome Reports

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Pope to travel to Romania, including Transylvania

The pope will visit Romania for three days, from May 31 to June 2. He will go only three weeks after his trip to Bulgaria and Macedonia. 

He will spend time in three cities, Bucharest, Iaşi and Blaj, in the Transylvania area. He will also visit the shrine of Our Lady, Șumuleu Ciuc. 

It will be a delicate trip due to tensions and divisions between the Orthodox Church and the Greek Catholic Church, which was suppressed by the Soviets in 1950. As a result 82 percent of Romanians are Orthodox, 6.4 percent are Protestants, and 4.3 percent are Catholics. 

Interestingly it is the 20th anniversary of John Paul II's visit to Romania in 1999, which was his first trip to an Orthodox country. 

During John Paul II's visit, a spectacular event happened at the end of the Mass. As he was being accompanied by the Orthodox Patriarch, Teoctist, the crowd started crying out for unity between Catholics and Orthodox.