VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is heading to Romania for a three-day, cross-country pilgrimage that in many ways is completing the 1999 trip by St. John Paul II that marked the first-ever papal visit to a majority Orthodox country.
Francis’ visit starting Friday comes on the heels of the European Parliament elections that hollowed out the political middle in the bloc, and Francis is expected to speak about issues confronting the continent during the trip.
Key moments are Francis’ Mass for the largely Hungarian-speaking Roman Catholic faithful at the country’s most famous Marian shrine, Sumuleu Ciuc, in eastern Transylvania.
He will also beatify seven Greek-Catholic bishops who were martyred during communist rule, when Catholics were brutally persecuted.
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