(Rome) Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was received by Pope Francis on his first foreign trip, which took him to Spain and Italy. Rebelo de Sousa won the direct elections for the Portuguese Head of State last January 24. He was inaugurated on March 9.
Invitation to Portugal's new president
The encounter with the Catholic Church leader lasted half an hour. Following this, President Rebelo told the press that he had invited Pope Francis for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima in Portugal.
The President said:
"I have am issuing an official invitation to visit Portugal in May to mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima. It is an invitation to visit Portugal. It is not for me to decide what position the Holy Father favors, who receives many referrals."At the same time Rebelo confirmed that Cardinal Secretary Parolin will be present on the 100th anniversary of the last apparition on the 12th/13th of October 1917. Pope Francis will not travel with him in October to Fatima
Fatima visit May 13, 2017?
On May 13th, in the month named by President Rebelo, the first apparition took place in 1917.
An official confirmation by the Vatican is not yet forthcoming, but it is certain that Pope Francis will visit next year Portugal and Fatima. In April and September 2015, Francis had expressed a wish to visit the Portuguese Marian shrine.
Francis has already announced his participation on October 31st, 2016, his preference for the Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of 500 years of Protestant "Reformation" in Stockholm. It's a decision that has caused some grumbling in certain Catholic circles.
In this context, it is noted from the Catholic side that Protestants may indeed celebrate in 2017, although the 500 years of "Reformation" for Catholics is another commemoration, namely the 100 years Fatima is of real significance.
100 years Fatima - 500 Years of "Reformation"
The Pope's visit to Portugal and Fatima in May 2017 would be intended, say observers, as "compensation" for the participation of Francis at Luther commemoration that gives the impression of a Catholic recognition of Luther. Martin Luther is synonymous with the most serious cleavage of Latin Christendom. "It is no cause to celebrate," said the Catholic News page Secretum meum mihi.
On the question, what is important for Catholics in 2017, 500 years of Reformation or 100 years of Fatima, the Catholic news website: "We are pleased with the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of all Christians, the true ecumenist, for she is truly Catholic."
Text: Giiuseppe Nardi
Image: SMM (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org
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