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Catholics reportedly upset by Pope's plans to visit Protestant congregation in Caserta

July 24, 2014

Bishop Giovanni D'Alise of Caserta, Italy, was not informed about plans for a papal trip to the city until the news became public, according to veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister of L'Espresso.

Magister reports that the Pope had planned to travel to Caserta to meet with his friend, the Evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino, and speak to his congregation. Pope Francis, Magister notes, has had friendly ties with Pentecostal clergy and congregations since his days in Buenos Aires, and has expressed admiration for their evangelical energy.

However, Catholics in Caserta were upset by the Pope's plans to visit a Protestant congregation, Magister reports. After some tense discussion, the Pope's plans were changed. He will now travel to Caserta on Saturday, July 26, to meet with Catholics; his 2nd trip on July 28, will be to the Protestant congregation.


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  • Posted by: DrJazz - Jul. 25, 2014 11:17 AM ET USA

    The unhappiness of Caserta's Catholics is understandable. In our time, Catholics need every possible support and encouragement to live out their faith. To provide that support to Protestants without also doing so for Catholics in the same place would have been at the very least unwise, as well as a missed opportunity. I doubt the Pope intended any insult, but this certainly wasn't his best PR move.