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Papal audience with Gypsies set for Saturday

Catholic World News - June 10, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will hold a special audience with over 2,000 European Gypsies on June 11.

Pope Benedict will hear testimony from leaders of four different Gypsy communities, and deliver his own address, at the Saturday event. The Gypsies have traveled to Rome from 20 different countries to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Ceferino Gimenez, the first Gypsy to be recognized by the Church as a martyr.

Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants (which organized the event), said that the Church has seen progress toward the goal of providing just and dignified treatment for Gypsies in European nations. The archbishop noted that meeting this goal requires not only acceptance on the part of European governments, but also a willingness on the part of the Gypsies to be integrated into society.

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