Pope Francis arrived in Romania on May 31 for a three-day, cross-country pilgrimage. The visit took place 20 years after St John Paul II made the first-ever papal visit to a majority Orthodox country, which is on the Catholic and European periphery.
On this occasion, Arch-bishop Felix Machado of Vasai recalls his visit to Romania when he worked in the Vatican during 1994-1998. I had participated in a meeting in Bucharest, Romania, invited by Catholic Action, a recognized lay association well known in Italy.
It was a memorable meeting and I saw and met so many Orthodox Christians and got to know the place.
One thing is sure, that Pope Francis, like Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, is very interested in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. Pope Francis is much loved by the Orthodox leaders as we can see that Patriarch Kiril of Moscow, hard liner, has met only Pope Francis. Pope Francis is close to Bartholomew, Patriarch of Istanbul.