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Pope Francis accepted President Iohannis's invitation to visit Romania at a date to be subsequently agreed upon

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Pope Francis has accepted President Klaus Iohannis's invitation to visit Romania at a date that will be subsequently agreed upon, informs the Presidential Administration in a Friday release."The President of Romania formally invited His Holiness to visit Romania. The invitation was accepted with pleasure, and the date of the visit will be subsequently established via diplomatic channels," the cited source said.

According to the release, President Klaus Iohannis was received by Pope Francis in audience on Friday morning, after which he met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State.

"During these very cordial meetings that took place precisely on the day of the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Romania and the Holy See, the sides discussed bilateral ties, expressing particular satisfaction at the excellent course they followed over the past 25 years. The sides also reaffirmed the mutual interest in the further development of bilateral dialogue and cooperation, with focus on areas such as the promotion of religious freedom, inter-faith dialogue and the combat of fundamentalism. The sides also exchanged views on topical international issues," informed the Presidential Administration. 

Pope Francis received President Klaus Iohannis in Vatican on Friday; the Romanian head of state was accompanied by his wife, Carmen, and by an official delegation.His Holiness and the President discussed for 20 minutes, before Iohannis introduced his wife and closest collaborators.

The President offered the Pope an engraving of downtown Sibiu with several churches of various confessions, and explained it was a symbol of the possibility of living together in harmony in Romania, irrespective one's religion; he also presented a golden coin minted to celebrate 2,000 years of Christianity, showing the importance Romanians attach to the Christian faith.

Pope Francis presented Iohannis with a picture of the angel of peace defeating the death.

President Iohannis also met at the Holy See the State Secretary Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and offered him a silver coin issued on the 130th anniversary of the first Romanian cardinal, Iuliu Hossu. 

The President and his wife concluded their visit to the Vatican by laying flowers at the tomb of Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's Basilica.

President Klaus Iohannis has stated, on Friday, in Rome, that Romania grants special attention to its relations with the Holy See and holds in high regard the vision of His Holiness Pope Francis regarding the need to create more solidarity, more dialogue in society, as well as regarding the urgency of fighting the issues that plague the modern world. 

The head of state has visited the Pio Romeno Pontifical College and has participated in a short religious service officiated in the college's chapel. 

"Romania has, through its history and culture, the history of a special relationship with the Holy See that it has expressed numerous times through ecumenical dialogue and through the recognition of the role of churches in society. Our wish is to develop and deepen the excellent collaboration existing at present in the framework of bilateral relations", said Iohannis in the speech he hold on the occasion. 

He hailed the College's activity, showing that it was and is a place of "glowing spirituality and culture" and reminded in this context of hierarchs, such as Iuliu Hossu, that have known the "persecution and martyrdom" of communist times. 

President Klaus Iohannis was welcomed, on Friday, by Pope Francis, the head of state being joined by his wife, Carmen Iohannis, and the presidential delegation. A release remitted later on by the Presidential Administration mentions the fact that Pope Francis has accepted the invitation of President Klaus Iohannis to visit Romania, with the exact date to be convened another time.



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