Audience with the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis

23 May 2024 | Press Releases

President Gordana Siljanovska Davkova, as part of her visit to the Holy See, on the occasion of the “Macedonia in Honor of Saint Cyril” event, had an audience today in the Apostolic Palace with the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis.

President Siljanovska Davkova expressed her gratitude for the congratulations sent by Pope Francis on the occasion of her election as President and emphasized that it is a special honor for her in the year when the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries is being celebrated, to lead the state-church delegation at this significant event.

She stressed that the historic visit of Pope Francis to our country left a strong mark on the bilateral relations and confirmed the high degree of trust and friendship between the two countries.

The President expressed confidence that during her term, our country will strive even more intensively to deepen the overall relations with the Holy See, with the aim of strengthening the partnership and nurturing mutual respect, based on common historical, cultural and religious traditions.

President Siljanovska Davkova and Pope Francis considered the possibilities for advancement of institutional cooperation in the field of education, science and culture and exchanged opinions on the current challenges facing the Catholic community in our country.

Pointing out that in our country there is a tradition of respect for diversity and a high awareness of the positive role of religion in the development of society, the President emphasized the importance and contribution of the Catholic Church and expressed her willingness to continue the cooperation with the Catholic community.

At the meeting, gifts were traditionally exchanged, during which President Siljanovska Davkova presented Pope Francis with a large woodcarving with a phoenix bird motif, which is a symbol of eternity.

After the audience with Pope Francis, President Siljanovska Davkova emphasized in a statement to the media that during the long meeting with the Pope, they first agreed on the current challenges, regarding the support of the Vatican on our path to the European Union, the support of the Vatican in the Western Balkans. In her statement, the President said that she expressed her understanding of concluding a Concordat with the Vatican, because a systematic approach should be taken to solving the issues related, in particular, to the status of the Catholic Church and Christians of the Catholic religion in our country, and said that she expressed her desire to open a Nunciate in our country because that way the cooperation can really become direct. President Siljanovska Davkova, pointing out the cooperation in many areas in the sphere of higher education, librarianship, conservation, etc., said that she expressed her willingness to continue the already established cooperation.

Today, President Siljanovska Davkova had a meeting with the State Secretary of the Holy See, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, at which a firm willingness to continue constructive cooperation in the spirit of mutual understanding and common values was expressed.





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