Pope plans Lithuania visit

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(dpa/NAN) Pope Francis plans to visit Lithuania at the end of 2018, the office of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Wednesday.

“Pope Francis’ visit is scheduled for autumn next year,” a presidential spokeswoman told the national BNS news agency.

She added that the Vatican was expected to release the details of the visit shortly.

“Francis’ trip is likely to include neighbouring countries,” the head of the Estonian Catholic Church, Bishop Philippe Jourdan, said, saying a papal visit was 99 per cent sure for 2018.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary since the Baltic States, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, first declared independence from Russia.

It will also be the 25th anniversary since the last papal visit to the region; Polish-born John Paul II undertook a seven-day journey through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in September 1993.