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Vilnius Archbishop Gintaras Grušas says that Pope Francis, who plans to visit Lithuania next year, would give strength to people and help them find a way out of difficult situations.
Pope Francis
Pope Francis
© LaPresse / Scanpix

Grušas helped to organize the first, and so far only, papal visit to Lithuania by Pope John Paul II in 1993.

"John Paul II came to strengthen people, he saw our wounds, difficulties and he came to fortify people. I believe that Francis, if he comes, would also come with the same goal -- he would come to strengthen us in our difficulties," he told reporters on Wednesday.

The archbishop said that emigration, human trafficking and social exclusion might be important to the pontiff in Lithuania.

"I think the pope is well informed about our problems," he said.

Grušas spoke to reporters after President Dalia Grybauskaitė's office confirmed that the 80-year-old Argentinian pontiff plans to visit Lithuania in the autumn of 2018.

The archbishop noted that the exact date of the trip is not yet known, adding that the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference will propose a program for his visit.

He thinks that the pontiff's visit to Lithuania will be brief, as many of his visits are.

BNS
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