Pope Francis confirms his wish to vist Malta
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Pope Francis confirmed that he still wants to pay a pastrol visit to Malta in the near future.
During an interview on Radio COPE, the radio station of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Pope Francis declared: “my choice so far of travel to Europe is the small countries. First it was Albania and then all the countries that were small. Now Slovakia is on the program, then Cyprus, Greece and Malta. I wanted to take that option: first to the smaller countries.”
It is expected that the Holy See will visit the two Mediterranean islands after visiting Glasgow in November where he will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The President of Malta George Vella confirmed that there has been contact between his office and the Vatican. “What we know is that the Pope is interested in a visit, 99% hès going to Cyprus. We cannot exclude anything.” He explained that the dates will be announced once there is an agreement. Robert Abela said that any correspondence between his office and the Vatican will remain confidential until an agreement is reached.
A spokesperson for the Archbishop’s Curia said that the date of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Malta will be announced once it has been confirmed. The decision will also take into account the situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of the Holy Father, the faithful and all those involved, as the Maltese Church has always done in consultation with the health authorities.
The Vatican made it also clear that these plans depend on the Popès health condition. The Pope underwent surgery to remove part of his colon earlier this month.
The Pope was meant to visit Malta in May last year, however these plans were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pope Francis will be the third pontiff to visit Malta after St John Paul II and pope emeritus Benedict XVI.