Vatican Number Two to Meet Bulgaria's Patriarch in Sofia

Politics » DIPLOMACY | March 15, 2016, Tuesday // 10:01
Bulgaria: Vatican Number Two to Meet Bulgaria's Patriarch in Sofia A file photo of the Cathedral of St Joseph in central Sofia, Bulgaria. BGNES

The Vatican's Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin is to pay a three-day visit to Bulgaria starting Saturday, Radio Vaticana's Bulgarian section says.

During his stay in Bulgaria he is set to meet with the Patriarch Neofit, who heads the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, but also with state officials such as Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and President Rosen Plevneliev.

On Sunday, he is to hold a mass and take part in the consecration the Catholic Church of Assumption in Sofia and to visit the Catholic Apostolic Exarchate.

He is also to take part in a mass, later on Sunday afternoon, marking the 10th year since the Cathedral of St Joseph, also in Sofia, was consecrated, and the 180th anniversary since the Order of Friars Minor Capucin set foot in Bulgaria. The Cathedral of St Joseph, the biggest Catholic temple in Bulgaria, emerged out of the ruins of a church bearing the same name whose construction began in 1878 and ended in 1944, to be destroyed in the Allied bombing campaign on Sofia in May 1944. The new temple was completed in the mid-2000s.

Born in Schiavon in thee province of Vicenza, His Eminence Pietro Parolin, 61, is the youngest Cardinal currently serving the Vatican.

He has been Secretary of State at the Holy See - an office that is in charge of all political and diplomatic functions of the Vatican - since April 2013.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Sofia Boyko Borisov, Bulgaria, Vatican, Catholic church, Pietro Parolin, Cathedral of St Joseph
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