Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Envoy, Visits Montenegro, Hails Bid To Join EU

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, in Podgorica

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state for the Vatican, arrived in Montenegro for an official visit on June 27.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic welcomed Parolin in Podgorica with the highest state honors and called it an historic visit.

Relations between Montenegro and the Vatican date back to 1886, when a concordat between Montenegro and the Holy See was signed.

Parolin said he was looking forward to Montenegro's accession to the European Union. He said that the EU was not only an economic and legal system, but also a peace project and a community of values.

On his first day in Montenegro, Parolin met with President Milo Djukanovic. He is scheduled to meet on June 28 with the president of parliament, Ivan Brajovic, and Culture Minister Aleksandar Bogdanovic.

The cardinal is also scheduled to visit Cetinje on June 28, serve the holy Mass in the Cathedral of the Holy Heart of Jesus in Podgorica, and speak with clergy and believers in the Church of St. Anthony in Tuzi.

On June 30, Parolin plans to serve holy Mass in the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Bar and Cathedral of St. Tryphon (Sveti Tripun) in Kotor.