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Pope's plan for Cyprus trip unchanged by tensions in Middle East

June 01, 2010

Fresh tensions in the Middle East, in the wake of Israel's attack on the "Freedom Flotilla," will not change plans for Pope Benedict XVI to visit Cyprus this weekend, Vatican sources confirm.

The Pope will travel to Cyprus on June 4, returning on June 6. The highlight of the trip will be the publication of the working document, or instrumentum laboris, for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will be dedicated to the Middle East.

Cyprus itself has a population of nearly 800,000, of whom only about 3% are Catholic. The Maronite Archeparchy of Cyprus is the only ecclesiastical jurisdiction for the island nation. There are 13 Catholic parishes, 22 Catholic schools, 5 hospitals and clinics, and 7 homes for the elderly, disabled, and orphans.

 


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