Pope John Paul II beatification to be attended by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

By on Apr 30, 2011 in Europe Comments

Pope John Paul II’s beatification on Sunday, May 1, 2011 will be attended by thousands of Catholics including Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe
(left) and wife Grace

Image Credit: AFP

President Mugabe, a noted Roman Catholic, was reported to have been exempted from European Union (EU) travel ban, and has arrived in Rome on Saturday.

Vatican City, although a part of Europe, is a sovereign state and is not included in the European Union.

According to international news sites, the 87-year old Zimbabwean president landed at Leonardo da Vinci airport in Rome on Saturday at around 6 a.m. (GMT), along with his wife Grace.

Back in 2002, an EU travel ban was imposed against President Mugabe due to alleged abuse on human rights,, but was also allowed to attend Pope John Paul II’s funeral in 2005.

Apparently, Italy’s foreign ministry granted Mugabe’s request to attend Pope John Paul II’s beatification but a Vatican spokesman told reports that he has not been invited.

But a head of a state in which Vatican had relations, President Mugabe will be among the 22 world leaders who will be present on Sunday when Pope Benedict XVI beatifies Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Square.

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