President Pahor paying official visit to Vatican

Vatican City – President Borut Pahor will pay an official visit to the Vatican on Monday at the invitation of Pope Francis to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Slovenia and the Holy See.

Pahor arrived in the Vatican on Sunday, and today he is scheduled for official talks and reception by Pope Francis, at which the importance of recognition of Slovenia by the Holy See 30 years ago is expected to be noted, the president’s office said.

Slovenia and the Vatican formally established diplomatic relations on 8 February 1992. The Holy See recognised Slovenia’s independence on 13 January the same year as one of the first countries to do so.

As part of what is Pahor’s fourth meeting with Pope Francis, the president is also due to meet Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

Pahor will also attend a concert performed by the Slovenian Octet at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, organised by the Slovenian Embassy to the Holy See on the eve of Culture Day and the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

On Tuesday, Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore will celebrate mass in the Slovenian language to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

During his official visit, which will also be an opportunity for talks on topical issues, including the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, inter-religious dialogue and the future of Europe, Pahor will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Anže Logar.

The visit rounds off the marking of the 30th anniversary of Slovenia’s independence and the establishment of relations with the Holy See, which began at the end of 2020, when Slovenia presented the Vatican with a Christmas tree to decorate St. Peter’s Square.

While the support of the Holy See to Slovenia’s independence efforts was indispensable, Slovenia’s relations with the Holy See go beyond that as there is understanding and similarity of approaches to many challenges of today’s world.

Slovenia, too, is committed to a culture of dialogue, solidarity and the building of lasting peace in conflict areas, as Pope Francis has maintained, the president’s office added.