President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President met with Lithuanian bishops and pilgrims at the Vatican


Sunday, April 27, Rome - After the ceremony of canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, President Dalia Grybauskaitė visited St. Casimir's Lithuanian College where she met with the Lithuanian clergy who participated in the ceremony: archbishops Sigitas Tamkevičius and Gintaras Grušas, bishops Eugenijus Jonas Boruta, Jonas Ivanauskas, Kęstutis Kėvalas, Rimantas Norvila, Lionginas Virbalas, cardinal-archbishop emeritus Audrys Juozas Bačkis and bishop emeritus Jonas Kauneckas.

Pilgrims from Lithuania as well as the Lithuanian clergy studying in Rome also took part in the meeting.

Pontifical St. Casimir's Lithuanian College, established in Rome in 1946, was a Lithuanian hub during occupation. At the present moment, around 30 Lithuanian clergymen live and study in the College which is also the Lithuanian community's gathering place. The College's spiritual father prelate Stasys Žilys, who worked in the Vatican archives for three decades, taught Pope John Paul II the Lithuanian language before the latter's visit to Lithuania.

The President talked with the Lithuanian clergy and pilgrims about the importance of the pontiffs who are declared as saints, and of the values they cherished, for Lithuania and the world. They also discussed the church's role in promoting concord, unity and communitarian approach in a society as well as protecting peace, democracy and human rights.

"We all are responsible for the world we live in. The role of the church and spiritual leaders is particularly important for boosting people's trust in one another, spreading the word of truth, protecting human rights and entrenching common human values. Today Lithuania and the world face a lot of new challenges. The duty of all of us is to contribute to building a more peaceful, transparent and dignified life, help our people feel safer and stronger," the President underlined.

Recalling that the canonized Pope John Paul II was a great European - the only pope who delivered a speech in the European Parliament, called on Europe to unite and the nations behind the iron curtain to come out - the clergymen and the President also talked about the 10th anniversary of Lithuania's EU membership and the importance of working together to curb an outbreak of violence and aggression in Lithuania's neighbourhood, Ukraine, and in other places of international conflicts.

According to the President, the urging ‘Do not be afraid' by John Paul II has become his spiritual legacy and today when the world is confronted with a new wave of violence is more relevant than ever. 

Copyright - R. Dačkus 

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2014.04.27 15:52