Upon receiving Anton Rop, Prime Minister of Slovenia, Pope John Paul called the Balkan nation separated from Yugoslavia to remain faithful to its Christian tradition.
“I know that Slovenia wishes to contribute to the shared commitment to make Europe a true family of peoples in a context of freedom and of mutual cooperation, at the same time protecting her own cultural and spiritual identity”.
The prime minister, who was accompanied by a delegation, visited the Holy Father after having exchanged the instruments of ratification – with Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano – for the agreement between Slovenia and the Holy See which concerns certain juridical matters of mutual interest. The Pope recalled that the agreement, which was signed in Lubljana, Slovenia, on December 14, 2001, “bears witness to the commitment of the Republic of Slovenia to maintain good relations with the Holy See”.
Referring to the recent integration of Slovenia into the European Union the Pope highlighted his conviction that the country will make an effective contribution to the continent “because it can also refer to its Christian values, which constitute an integral part of its history and culture. May it always remain faithful to those values!” He concluded: “May God help (the Slovenian people) to progress constantly along the path of development and peace.”