(Vatican Radio) Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, has returned from a visit to Prague in the Czech Republic (9-11 February) upon the invitation of the Czech Foreign Minister, Lubomír Zaorálek.
During the visit, Archbishop Gallagher met with several civil authorities and bishops.
He met with Czech Foreign Minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, on 10 February.
An article in the Osservatore Romano said their meeting was cordial, touching on topics including the ‘good relations between the Holy See and the Czech Republic, the role of the Catholic Church in Czech society, where it is particularly involved in charitable, educational, and healthcare activities, as well as the latest developments in the hoped for Bilateral Accord’.
Regarding international concerns, the two foreign ministers discussed the ‘prospects for the future of the European Union, migratory flows, terrorism, conflicts in the Middle East, and development on the African continent’.
Finally, Mr. Zaorálek renewed the invitation – already extended by Czech President Miloš Zeman – for Pope Francis to make an Apostolic Journey to the Czech Republic.
Archbishop Gallagher subsequently met with the Culture Minister Daniel Herman and Ambassador Štefan Füle.
He also met several representatives of the Czech hierarchy, including Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, and the Archbishop of Olomouc, Jan Graubner.
During the meetings, they spoke about the various pastoral challenges in the country, such as the ‘welcoming of migrants, the future of the European project, and the worrying situation of Christians in some areas of the Middle East’.
(Devin Sean Watkins)