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Pope Francis to visit Malta in April

Pope Francis to visit Malta in April

That’s right, everyone! Despite the trip being postponed repeatedly over the last few months, it is confirmed that Pope Francis will be visiting Malta on the 2 and 3 of April this year, after the Maltese government agreed to the dates proposed by the Vatican.

The Pope was originally scheduled to visit the island in May 2020, but, as you may recall, the trip was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Postponed to December 2021, Francis’ visit was yet again rescheduled.

What about an election?

No official statement has yet been made but the date effectively rules our April as an option for the election to be held. And with the Vatican insisting that the visit does not coincide with an electoral campaign, Abela could opt for a 12 March election, which means that parliament could be dissolved as early as next week.

That being said, the Prime Minister may still opt for a June election, taking the administration to its natural end. If he opts for this, parliament may be dissolved at the start of May.

Other papal visits

Pope John Paul II in Malta 1990

Pope Benedict XVI in 2010

Pope Francis will be the third pontiff to visit Malta, following St Jon Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The first papal visit took place in 1990, when Pope John Paul II was given a rousing welcome. He visited again in 2001 when he beatified Dun Ġorġ Preca, Adeodata Pisani and Nazju Falzon. Pope Benedict XVI visited Malta in 2010.

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