Bulgaria Marks 10th Anniversary of Historic Pope Visit
The late Pope John Paul II never believed that Bulgaria has been involved in the attack on his life in 1981.
The statement was made by Bulgaria's former Foreign Affairs Minister, Solomon Passy, speaking Thursday in an interview for Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of John Paul's visit to Bulgaria.
Passy explained the Pope made the statement during his trip to Bulgaria in 2002 at a meeting with former President Georgi Parvanov.
According to the ex Minister, the visit was historic for the country and has contributed a great deal for improving Bulgaria's image and the relations between the Catholic Church and the Bulgarian Orthodoxy. It brought to an end the insinuations about the "Bulgarian trace" in the attack on the Pope's life.
In the interview, Passy also noted the John Paul's significant help in the negotiations for the release of Bulgarian medics from Libyan jail.
He explained that preparations for the visit began as early as 1994. It was the very first visit of a Pope to Bulgaria and came on the invitation of the Bulgarian Catholic Church and the Bulgarian government.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the historic visit, the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy are organizing a round table titled "John Paul II: The Man Who Changed the World."
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