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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-06-05

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The head of the Roman Catholic Church Pope Benedict XVI, in Cyprus on a three-day official visit, is due to meet Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, at the Presidential Palace, as he continues his contacts on the island.

    He will be welcomed by the President and his spouse Elsie. The Pontiff will lay a wreath at the statue of Archbishop Makarios III.

    Later on, the President and the Pontiff will exchange gifts. Afterwards, President Christofias and the Pope will have a tete-a-tete meeting. The Pope will sign the Visitors Book. This will be followed by the presentation of the delegations of the Republic of Cyprus and the Holy See.

    The President and the Pope will then proceed to the Gardens of the Presidential Palace, where the Civil Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps will gather. This will be followed by a greeting address by President Christofias and a speech by the Pope.

    The Pope will then visit Saint Marons School where a special ceremony will take place. This will include a welcoming address by the Director of the School, the unveiling of a plaque of the Papal Visit, a greeting address by Youssef Soueif, Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus, a Liturgy of the Word, an artistic performance by the school children, a speech by the Pope, the presentation of gifts, songs and a final blessing.

    Later the Pope will have a tete-a-tete meeting at the Archbishopric Palace with Archbishop Chrysostomos II. He will also visit the Statue of the Late Archbishop Makarios and the Cathedral, where an exchange of brief greetings will take place.

    Following that, the Pope will visit the Byzantine Museum. The Papal Entourage and the members of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus will also visit the Apartment of Archbishop Makarios III. An exchange of gifts will take place at the Great Synod Hall.

    Later the Pope will visit the Apostolic Nunciature, where a Holy Mass will take place.


    Pope Benedict XVI, who is currently on an official visit to Cyprus, has expressed hope that the desire of Cypriots to live in harmony with their neighbours would inspire them patiently to resolve the remaining concerns that they share with the international community for the future of the island.

    Speaking at the welcoming ceremony at Paphos Airport shortly after his arrival, Pope Benedict said ``Cyprus stands at the crossroads of cultures and religions, of histories both proud and ancient but which still retain a strong and visible impact upon the life of your country.``

    ``Having recently acceded to the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus is beginning to witness the benefit of closer economic and political ties with other European states. Membership has already given your country access to markets, technology and know-how,`` he said.

    He added that ``it is greatly to be hoped that membership will lead to prosperity at home and that other Europeans in their turn will be enriched by your spiritual and cultural heritage which reflects your historical role, standing between Europe, Asia and Africa.``

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