SI  EN  |  Accessibility
TEXT
UPPER CASE lower case
TEXT SIZE
CTRL+ increase size
CTRL- decrease size
THEME
High contrast Normal contrast Reset all
 
 
 

The first official visit of the President of the Republic to the Holy See after 20 years and an invitation to visit Slovenia

Vatikan, 17. 10. 2016 | press release, statement



The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is received by Pope Francis in the Vatican; the President also meets Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See.
At the invitation of Pope Francis, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is currently on an official visit to the Holy See.

The official visit has enhanced the otherwise regular dialogue with the high representatives of the Holy See, particularly with the Holy Father Pope Francis. The President and the Pope assessed the relations between Slovenia and the Holy See as positive since they were founded on deep friendship and mutual respect. President Pahor stressed that Slovenia was addressing open issues and was enabling the Catholic Church and other religious communities in Slovenia to perform their mission for the benefit of its citizens.

When meeting Pope Francis, the President said that Pope Francis played a special role in present international relations since “he is not only a religious leader, but an important statesman who strives for reconciliation, harmony and peace, i.e. values which also connect Slovenians.” The President described to the Pope the course of the reconciliation process in Slovenia and highlighted the need to eliminate injustices that occurred after the Second World War and which divided Slovenian society for many decades. Reconciliation did not refer only directly to Slovenians, assessed President Pahor, so he and Pope Francis also spoke about reconciliation in a broader context, i.e. regional and global, and reconciliation as the foundation of the European Union. They also thought of young people, who may not be familiar with all the facts since their gaze is directed particularly towards the future. “How to address the young so they will keep one eye on the past and the other far into the future, and with what convincing arguments should they be inspired to see the future in reconciliation, peace and harmony,” President Pahor summarised their discussion and added that they agreed to further cooperate regarding young people and try to do as much as possible for their benefit. On the official visit, President Pahor repeated his invitation for the Pope to visit Slovenia next year.

President Pahor gave Pope Francis a facsimile of the Stična Manuscript written in the Cistercian Abbey in Stična and considered a medieval text from the end of the 15th century, and also a Slovenian walnut potica, one of the original and officially protected Slovenian desserts, which as a festive ritual dish has been for centuries served on Slovenian tables at times of celebrations.

President Pahor later met Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, with whom he spoke about the cooperation between Slovenia and the Holy See in the bilateral and broader international context. They paid special attention to the future of Europe and cooperation in addressing global security challenges. They also spoke about migrations and conditions in the neighbouring region of the Western Balkans. The Secretary of State expressed a willingness for cooperation and further consultations regarding the above issues, and he also confirmed the participation of the High Representative of the Holy See at the next Bled Strategic Forum.

The President of the Republic planted a tree in the Vatican Gardens to commemorate the 25th anniversary of independence, the 20th anniversary of the visit of the Holy Father John Paul II to Slovenia and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of new dioceses in Slovenia. In discussions with high representatives of the Holy See, the President expressed interest in continuing regular dialogue on various international issues.

President Pahor also visited the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and met the Prince and Grand Master of the Order, Fra' Matthew Festing. The President decorated the Order for its priceless contribution to the mosaic of global humanitarian activity, which the Order realises as a permanent observer to the United Nations Organisation, and for its humanitarian aid offered to Slovenia most recently during the refugee crisis. The discussion partners exchanged views on the migrant crisis and agreed that a balanced distribution of burdens between the EU Member States was necessary.

As the first Slovenian President, President Pahor visited the Slovenian Papal Institute Slovenik yesterday, where he was greeted by chancellor Franc Mihelčič, and he also met Slovenians who live and work in the Holy See.

The first official visit of the President of the Republic to the Holy See after 20 years and an invitation to visit Slovenia - fototermin stoje
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The first official visit of the President of the Republic to the Holy See after 20 years and an invitation to visit Slovenia
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The first official visit of the President of the Republic to the Holy See after 20 years and an invitation to visit Slovenia - izmenjava daril
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The first official visit of the President of the Republic to the Holy See after 20 years and an invitation to visit Slovenia
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA