Edition 1484
21 July 2018
Edition: 1484

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Portugal celebrates Papal visit

in News · 20-12-2017 15:01:00 · 0 Comments

The Papal visit this past May resulted in the government taking the move to allow civil servants to lay down their tools and lock up state departments on the eve of Pope Francis’s visit to Portugal. The decision was however met with some criticism emanating from within the ruling Socialist Party, with one MP saying he had been left “dumbfounded” by the decision.

Portugal celebrates Papal visit

The decision came on the eve of Pope Francis’ visit to the Fátima Sanctuary to commemorate the centennial of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children, which was marked on 13 May. During the visit, two of the shepherd children were canonised.
But following news that the state employees would be allowed to travel to Fátima, or wherever they pleased on Friday 12 May, Socialist MP Tiago Barbosa Rodrigues lashed out at the decision.
“It is not common to find mistakes in the Government which I support, but here is one which is especially ridiculous”, said the MP in a post on Facebook.
He also questioned the decision to make the concession to civil servants for the visit of a head of state, and he said that it is even worse if the move is based on religious reasons.
He argued that if a day off is given for the papal visit, then the same should be done for the visits of other religious leaders, especially as Portugal is a secular state and neutral to all faiths, practices and beliefs.
“Or, here is a great idea, let’s not give any days off”, said the MP.
Back in 2010, during the last Papal visit, a day off on 13 May was decreed as it fell on a working day.
Pope Francis was the fourth head of the Vatican to visit Portugal. Paul VI visited in 1967, followed by John Paul II in 1982, 1991 and 2000 and Benedict XVI in 2010.

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Edition 1484
21 July 2018
Edition: 1484

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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