Pope Francis invited to visit Latvia

  • 2014-01-15
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Latvian Ambassador to the Holy See, Einars Semanis, has met with Pope Francis in the Vatican,

During the meeting, Pope Francis sent his blessings to the leaders of the state of Latvia and to the Latvian people, along with the sincerest wishes for the New Year. Ambassador Semanis conveyed to Pope Francis best wishes from President Andris Berzins and the people of Latvia for the New Year.

On behalf of the president, Ambassador Semanis reiterated an invitation for the Pope to visit Latvia. The ambassador informed His Holiness that the year 2015 would see 800 years since Pope Innocent III named the territory of Livonia, the present-day Latvia and Estonia, Terra Mariana (Land of Mary). Semanis accentuated that the state of Latvia highly valued the role of the Church in the moral and spiritual revival of society at the time of recovery from the economic crisis.

The ambassador also indicated that Latvia was grateful to the Holy See for compassion and consolation offered over the Riga supermarket tragedy. Semanis noted that the ideas expressed by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” gave moral power. At the meeting, the Ambassador presented His Holiness with the Latvian translation of the book, “Francis: Man of Prayer”, by Mario Escobar.

In his address to the annual meeting of foreign diplomats, the Pope shared his perspective on events and processes in international life. The Pope indicated that the spirit of brotherhood was a basis for a road to peace. Dealing with specific developments in various regions of the world, His Holiness accentuated that the path of diplomacy and dialogue should be sought when solving international problems and conflicts. He noted in particular that the young generation should be faithful to the culture of openness and solidarity.

The Pope underlined that peace was threatened by any violations of human dignity. Pope Francis mentioned with concern that problems of food shortage, human trafficking and immigrants persisted in a number of places across the globe. In the contemporary world, the weaker and the marginalized were in need of solidarity and help. The Pope evaluated unreasonable use of natural resources as a threat to peace. Pope Francis also confirmed that the Holy See was ready to cooperate in promoting brotherhood, peace and harmony in the world.