Pope Francis to visit the Waldensian Church in Turin on June 22
The date is fixed and also the program of the visit which may well be defined ‘historic’. On June 22 Pope Francis will step into the Waldensian church located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in the very centre of Turin, to greet the world oldest reformed community (integrated in 1975 with the Italian Methodist Church).
The occasion is given by the pilgrimage for the exhibition of the Shroud and the celebration for the bicentennial of Don Bosco’s birth.
The moderator of the Waldensian Church, Pastor Eugenio Bernardini, announced that the visit will be characterized by simplicity and ecumenical brotherhood which has been increasing and strengthening in the last two years, according to the style of the Waldensian Church and of Pope Francis himself.
The Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia, in presenting the visit at the Holy see press office on March 25, underlined the importance of this visit which reflects the papal open and ecumenical spirit. Pope Francis has been knowing the Waldensian community since his bishop’s ministry in Argentina and Uruguay, where is present an ‘Iglesia Valdense’. Since his election he repeatedly showed friendship and appreciation for the Waldensian Church and shortly met moderator Bernardini on September 2013. No pope ever before visited a Waldensian church, “but there is always a first time – said Bernardini – and the Spirit will shows us the roads of the ecumenical journey we want to cover together”.