2009-10-02 15:38:06

Pope to visit Cyprus next year

(October 2, 2009) Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in early June next year. The Cypriot government announced the visit on its Web site on Thursday which the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed. During the trip, the pope will deliver to church leaders from the Middle East a summary of topics to be discussed at the October 2010 special Synod of Bishops on the Middle East, according to the Web site of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. The invitation to the Pope came from president Demetris Christofias of Cyprus, the Catholic leaders in Cyprus and Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus. In a brief communiqué sent to the Vatican on Thursday, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem, Maronite Archbishop Joseph Soueif of Cyprus, and Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, said with great pleasure they were announcing that Pope Benedict has accepted the invitation by the President of Cyprus and the local churches and has expressed the intention to visit Cyprus at the end of next spring. Though no programme has been fixed the website of the Franciscan Custody said the Holy Father is expected to be in Cyprus June 4-6.

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