The time, when Roman Catholic Pope Francis is set to visit the Baltics, greatly differs from the visit by Saint John Paul II in 1993. There is public resentment over the countries spending several million euros to host the trip of the pontiff and the Catholic sex abuse scandals are topic of discussion.
French news agency AFP reports on Friday, September 20, that the Catholic Church is under increasing scrutiny because of the escalating worldwide sex abuse crisis, involving cases claims of abuse and cover-ups by clergymen and lay members in Australia, Europe, and North and South America have involved widespread claims of abuse.
This March, the Lithuanian church also admitted to a sexual abuse case in the 1970s after an internal two-year investigation.
The visit of pope Francis is devoted to the centenaries of the three Baltic states. It will be highly appreciated by the believers, but how many are they in the region?
Vatican’s own data show that close to 80% of the Lithuanian population sees itself as Roman Catholic
In Latvia, there are only 21% in Latvia Roman Catholics, which is still a lot more than in in Estonia, one of Europe’s least religious nations.