Archbishop: Still early to talk about pope's visit
Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade Stanislav Hočevar says there is no indication that the Holy See, which has not recognized Kosovo, will change its decision.Source: Tanjug
Speaking for Tanjug on Good Friday, he estimated that it was still early to talk about a visit of the newly elected pontiff, Pope Francis I, to Serbia.
Even after the election of the new pope, the Holy See has not implied in any way that it could change its view, and that means that its position on the Kosovo issue is completely clear, the archbishop said.
Hočevar underlined that the new pontiff has recently assumed his duties, and a lot of work lies ahead of him at the start of a new mission, so it was still early to talk about the possibility of his visit to Serbia.
The archbishop of Belgrade stressed that mutual dialogue was the most important for all Christians in Serbia, so as part of this it would be logical that the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which advocates universal values, visits Serbia.
Hočevar noted that it would be good if all citizens of Serbia of all religions and nations got to know each other, estimating that Serbia itself could be a pioneer of coexistence of people of various languages, peoples, customs and cultures in Europe.
He further told the news agency that the dialogue should be stepped up as that would help not only Serbia, but entire Europe to follow a better road.
Speaking about the Edict of Milan celebrations in Niš, Hočevar voiced his hope that the decision of former pontiff Benedict would remain in force, and that the Vatican would be represented by Archbishop of Milan and Cardinal Angelo Scola, who has always regarded Serbia and Eastern Europe with favor.
Archbishop Hočevar noted that Milan and Niš are bound by special historical ties, adding that Cardinal Scola's visit would mean that "East and West are being brought closer together in more concrete terms, which is of great importance for us all."