SINGAPORE - The Secretary of State of Pope Francis, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has said that he is very pleased to see the "enthusiasm and effectiveness" in the running of various Catholic organisations here and the high standards of governance in Singapore.
Cardinal Parolin, the second most senior leader in the Holy See after the Pope, is currently on his first official visit to Singapore.
During Cardinal Parolin's three-day visit, which ends on Monday (Aug 17), he visited various Catholic institutions, including St Patrick's Secondary School, Mount Alvernia Hospital, the Assisi Hospice, St Theresa Home, St Francis-Xavier Major Seminary and the Carmelite Monastery.
On Sunday (Aug 16), he also visited St Joseph's church, presided the Mass and delivered the homily to mark the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, said a statement by the Apostolic Nunciature in Singapore.
Cardinal Parolin also met with leaders from the Government. Noting that Singapore has been steadfast in its belief in racial and religious harmony, he said of the Republic's Golden Jubilee celebrations: "I join in your gladness and congratulate you, wishing peace and prosperity for your beloved country."
The last high-level visit from the Holy See was by then secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, in June 2005.
The late Pope John Paul II also visited Singapore in November 1986.