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East Timor's prime minister, Vatican Secretary of State celebrate new diplomatic accord

March 03, 2016

Pope Francis met on March 3 with Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo of East Timor, for a conversation that centered on Church-state relations.

Following the meeting with the Pontiff, the prime minister and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, exchanged documents ratifying the diplomatic accord between the Holy See and East Timor. That agreement, concluded last August, establishes the legal rights of the Catholic Church in East Timor. Cardinal Parolin said that the accord “provides a stable legal framework for relations both between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and between the Catholic Church and the Timorese state.”

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