ANTANANARIVO JANUARY 31, 2017 (CISA)– Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See is in Madagascar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Madagascar.
According to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Parolin met with President Hery Rajaonarimampianina at the Presidential Palace on the first day of his visit which begun January 26 and will go up toFebruary 1.
The Cardinal was accompanied by the Apostolic Nuncio and some of the country’s Bishops while Head of State was accompanied by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Also present in was Cardinal Maurice Piat, the Bishop of Port-Louis in Mauritius.
During the meeting Cardinal Parolin expressed the readiness of the Holy See to continue the fruitful collaboration with Madagascar.
He encouraged the local Church in Madagascar to continue contributing to the spiritual and social well-being of all citizens and hoped that his visit, “Would help support an agreement towards the full legal recognition of institutions of the Church.”
On his part, President Rajaonarimampianina expressed appreciation for the visit, recalling the good relations between the Holy See and Madagascar, over the last 50 years.
The President recognised the important role the Catholic Church plays in contributing to the social development of all citizens in Madagascar, particularly in education and health.
President Rajaonarimampianina further hoped that the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations would serve to strengthen ties between the Holy See and Madagascar.
Later, the Cardinal Parolin was decorated with the Grand Officer of the National Order of Madagascar award.
From Madagascar, Cardinal Parolin is scheduled to travel to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo with a brief stop-over in Nairobi, Kenya.