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Pope lauds witness of Bulgaria's Catholic minority

February 13, 2014

Pope Francis praised the Catholic community of Bulgaria for showing energy and apostolic initiative, in a February 13 to bishops from that country who were completing their ad limina visits.

Although Catholics are a minority in Bulgaria, their public witness is important “in a society marked by the many spiritual voids left behind by the former atheist regime and the uncritical acceptance of cultural models in which the suggestions of a certain practical materialism prevail,” the Pope said. He remarked that the Church in Bulgaria has given heroic witness under duress in the past, and should continue to offer an alternative to materialism and to provide help for those in need.

Pope Francis mentioned that the April 27 canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II should be a special day for Bulgarian Catholics. Blessed John Paul II holds a special place in their lives because he is the first Slavic Pope, while Blessed John XXIII was beloved in Bulgaria when he served there as apostolic nuncio.


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