“Pope Francis emphasised what he often says that the Church has to find a way to every person,” said Kiska on his Facebook page.
Regarding the openness of the church that Kiska mentioned to the pope among other things, baptisms of the children of single mothers and Holy Communion for divorcees were mentioned. Another focus of the conversation was the suspension of Trnava Archbishop Robert Bezák in 2012, the TASR newswire reported.
“We held a long discussion on Bezák’s situation, as well as on what troubles us in Slovakia,” said the president.
Bezák was officially removed as archbishop on July 2, 2012, upon publication of an announcement in L’Osservatore Romano, the official daily newspaper of the Vatican. The Conference of Slovak Bishops (KBS) followed with a short statement: “Based on an apostolic visitation which took place between January 22 and February 1, 2012, the Holy Father recalled Róbert Bezák from pastoral management of the Trnava Archdiocese. We accept the decision of the Holy Father in the spirit of faith and filial obedience and we are asking for blessings for the Church in Slovakia.”
Both the Vatican and the Slovak bishops refused to explain the reasons for the decision and Bezák was forbidden from discussing the issue publicly. The case stirred wide public and media attention.
Mentioning Bezák was undiplomatic move because he commented on internal issues of Catholic Church, according Catholic church analyst Imrich Gazda, the SITA newswire reported.
A day before meeting with pope, Kiska met his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella in Rome on Wednesday to discuss economic cooperation between Slovakia and Italy along with current developments in Ukraine, according to TASR.
Slovak President’s Office communications section head Roman Krpelan noted that the meeting also featured a discussion of the issue of immigrants from Africa heading to Italian shores.
“The Slovak president was also interested in the forms and ways of combating corruption in Italy,” said Krpelan, as quoted by TASR.
In addition, Kiska was reported to have invited Mattarella to Slovakia.
10. Apr 2015 at 7:03 | Compiled by Spectator staff