MALMO, Sweden (CNS) — Under a thick gray sky, Pope Francis was welcomed to Sweden with a small formal ceremony, which conveyed by its brevity that the trip was not a formal state visit, but had another purpose.
Flying to Malmo Oct. 31, Pope Francis told reporters that the trip was a “very important ecclesial event” because of its ecumenical focus. He also asked that the journalists help in explaining the trip “so that people understand it well.”
Arriving at the Malmo airport, he was greeted by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and by Archbishop Antje Jackelen, primate of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, as well as by the country’s lone Catholic bishop, Bishop Anders Arborelius of Sweden.
A military band played the Vatican and Swedish national anthems as the pope and prime minister stood facing Sweden’s flag, which is blue with a yellow cross. Members of the general public were not present for the welcoming ceremony.
The pope met briefly in an airport VIP lounge with Prime Minister Lofven before traveling to Igelosa, a medical research center outside Lund, which transformed a room in its conference center into the papal residence for his 26-hour stay in Sweden.
After an early lunch, Pope Francis was to travel to Kungshuset in Lund for a meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia and their children and grandchildren.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: