venerdì 15 agosto 2014

Parolin says Pope hopes to promote peace in Korea

Reconciliation may follow dialogue between North and South

(ANSA) - Vatican City, August 12 - The visit by Pope Francis to South Korea could serve to promote peace and dialogue with its neighbour North Korea, Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said Tuesday. The papal visit that begins Wednesday when Francis leaves Rome will "help to open communication and dialogue," Parolin said in an interview with Vatican television.

"This has always been the great hope of the Holy See, which is also committed concretely in this direction," said Parolin. "The (Korean) peninsula is still crossed by many tensions and the peninsula needs peace and reconciliation," he added. "I think that the Pope's visit will the sense of continuing this work of solidarity with people who are in need, and to promote, to the extent possible, the opening of spaces for communication and dialogue because I believe, and it is a belief that the Pope has reiterated many times, that only through this communication and dialogue can you solve ongoing problems," said Parolin. Despite invitations from the pope's South Korean hosts, a delegation from North Korea has refused to attend a papal Mass for reconciliation at the Myeong-dong Cathedral, seat of the Archdiocese of Seoul.

This marks the first trip by Francis to Asia as pope, and his crammed schedule includes taking part in Asian Youth Day, meeting senior citizens, and meeting with the families of victims of the April Sewol ferry disaster that killed 304 people - many of them children and teens. Francis is scheduled to deliver 11 speeches during the trip including four in English, a language he does not often use in public. 

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