Catholic pope’s visit to Serbia “impossible”

BELGRADE -- A visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Niš for the marking of the 1,700th anniversary of Edict of Milan “is not possible bearing in mind certain historical issues”.

Pope Benedict XVI (Beta/AP)
Pope Benedict XVI (Beta/AP)

Apostolic Nuncio to Serbia Orlando Antonini told Catholic News Agency SIR that “situation in Serbia regarding ecumenism still is not relaxed enough”.

“However, first steps toward reconciliation have been made. The appointment of (Roman Catholic) Archbishop of Belgrade Stanislav Hočevar in the organizing committee for the marking of the jubilee should be counted as one,” Antonini believes.

He noted that this was a “longstanding historical process”.

“Trust needs to be established, preconditions need to be created, different positions need to be made clear. Primarily, it is necessary to behave in accordance with love for our neighbors and sisterly relations,” Antonini concluded.