Pope visits Roma shanty town in Slovakia

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On the third day of his Slovakia trip, Pope Francis will visit a Roma housing estate in the second largest city of Kosice (Kashov) on Tuesday afternoon. Between 5,000 and 6,000 people of the Roma ethnic group live in the prefabricated housing estate Lunik IX, which is known for its poor housing and living conditions.

The appointment is typical of Francis’ agenda – a meeting with people who live on the margins of society. But the fact that the head of the Catholic Church is visiting the Roma quarter, of all places, also startles many of the country’s politicians. It is also a signal to the Slovakian official church, says the former speaker of parliament and symbolic figure of Catholic Slovakia, Frantisek Miklosko.

Before going to Lunik IX, Francis wants to join in a service in Presov (Eperies). This is to be held according to the Byzantine Rite, which many Eastern Catholic churches adhere to. Francis usually celebrates his masses in the Roman Rite. In the evening, there is still a meeting with young people in the soccer stadium of FC VSS Kosice. The 84-year-old Argentinean regularly includes young people in his prayers.

— source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com

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