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Vatican Secretary of State Currently in Madagascar, to Visit Congo Brazzaville Via Kenya

Vatican Radio || 30 January 2017

vatican sec of state in madagascar 2017Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See, is currently visiting Madagascar from 26 January to 1 February. The Cardinal is in that country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Madagascar.

On the first day of his visit, the Secretary of State met with President Hery Rajaonarimampianina at the Presidential Palace. The Head of State was flanked by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Cardinal Parolin was accompanied by the Apostolic Nuncio and some of the country’s Bishops. Also present was Cardinal Maurice Piat, the Bishop of Port-Louis in Mauritius.

Leaders of other Christian denominations joined the reception that followed the meeting.

President Rajaonarimampianina expressed appreciation for the visit, recalling the good relations between the Holy See and Madagascar, over the last 50 years. He spoke in glowing terms of his visit to Pope Francis in June 2014.

The President recognised the important role that the Catholic Church plays with its institutions contributing to the social development of all citizens in Madagascar, particularly in the education and health sector. Rajaonarimampianina hoped that the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations would serve to strengthen ties between the Holy See and Madagascar.

For his part, Cardinal Parolin conveyed the affectionate greetings of Pope Francis to the people of Madagascar. The Cardinal Secretary of State expressed his sincere gratitude for the extraordinarily warm welcome that was reserved for him in Madagascar. Building on the reason for his visit, he expressed the readiness of the Holy See to continue the fruitful collaboration with Madagascar.

The Holy See prelate encouraged the local Church in Madagascar to continue contributing to the spiritual and social well-being of all citizens. He hoped that his visit would help support an agreement towards the full legal recognition of institutions of the Church.

Later, the Cardinal Secretary of State was decorated with the Grand Officer of the National Order of Madagascar award.

From Madagascar, Cardinal Parolin is scheduled to travel to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo with a brief stop-over in Nairobi, Kenya.

Source: Vatican Radio…

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