Pope Francis may visit Estonia next year
Bishop Philippe Jourdan announced at Mass in Tallinn on Sunday that Pope Francis will likely visit Estonia next year.
The pope's visit would be in connection with Estonian centennial events, Catholic Church in Estonia spokesperson Marge Paas confirmed.
"The Apostolic Nuncio visited Estonia recently, and his message was that it is 99 percent sure that the Holy Father may visit Estonia in Septeber 2018," Paas told ERR's online news portal. "The exact date is yet unknown, but preparations are underway. The pope's general stance is to visit small countries."
Jourdan said that information regarding the pope's likely visit to Estonia came directly from Rome, where Pedro López Quintana, apostolic nuncio to the Baltic states, met with the pope and learned that the latter was preparing to visit Estonia.
Jourdan confirmed that the pope's visiting Estonia has been under consideration for years and is now more than just an idea. "This is a dream which we have had for years," he added.
The pope will likely lead Mass during his visit to Estonia as well.
Exact dates for his visit are likely to be determined by the end of the year. Whether or not the pope will also visit Latvia and Lithuania on his trip is yet known.
John Paul II, who visited Estonia on Sept. 10, 1993, is thus far the only pope to have visited Estonia.
Editor: Aili Vahtla