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After 2018 papal trip to Estonia, country sees openness toward Catholic Church


During the papal trip to the Baltic countries in September, Pope Francis' last stop was to Tallinn, Estonia.

The Apostolic Administrator of Estonia, Philippe Jourdan, had personally invited the pope to visit and is thrilled that it came to pass. 

When in Rome, the bishop got to speak to Pope Francis after the General Audience to hear his impressions seven months after the visit.

BISHOP PHILIPPE JOURDAN
Bishop of Tallinn, Estonia
“The pope said, 'I was very happy with my visit to Estonia.' So I said, 'Thank you very much, Holy Father. Pray please for Estonia now because we are in a little bit complicated situation.' So he looked at me and told me, 'Ah yes, I've read that you had elections recently.'”

Now, Bishop Jourdan says after the papal visit, Estonians view the Catholic Church in a different way, especially the youth.

BISHOP PHILIPPE JOURDAN
Bishop of Tallinn, Estonia
"It's clear that there was a higher number of people wanted to become baptized or to be received in the Church. People see now the Catholic Church, and especially the Holy Father, of course, as something nearer to them. It's very important for the future. "

MARGE-MARIE PAAS
Press Representative, Estonian Catholics
“They are open and people are looking for Masses and some prayer groups. It doesn't mean they will be Catholics, but just to be a part and to show openness, this is really respectful for our Church, and I think for the whole Church in the world.”

The Press Representative for the Estonian Catholic Church says others sparked an interest in what's going on in the Catholic Church, and the six thousand Catholics in Estonia.

But both she and the bishop are hoping for continued growth and even another papal visit.

BISHOP PHILIPPE JOURDAN
Bishop of Tallinn, Estonia
“The pope today told us, 'See you the next time.' He said to the Estonian group, so he didn't say when will be the next time.”

Whether it will be this successor of Peter or another in the future, Estonia is surely grateful for the papal visit and lasting effects it has had on their country.