Latin-Rite Cathedral Taking Shape in Bulgarian Capital

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SOFIA, Bulgaria, DEC. 24, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The resurgence of a new Catholic cathedral in Sofia is due in no small measure to John Paul II's visit to the country.



Last May 23, the very day the Pope arrived in Sofia, the government approved the construction of the cathedral, dedicated to St. Joseph, in the historic center of the capital.

An Orthodox cathedral, a mosque and a synagogue are also located in the center of Sofia, near the headquarters of the Parliament and government, Vatican Radio noted.

The new building is located where once stood the old cathedral, destroyed by bombings during World War II. The ground floor is already completed.

"If the works continue at such a rapid pace, we will be able to celebrate next Christmas, 2003, inside the cathedral," said the parish priest, Capuchin Father Cristoforo Kujok.

He explained that the construction is being carried out thanks to the help of parishioners, the contributions of Aid to the Church in Need, and the U.S. bishops' conference.

Sofia also has a cathedral of Byzantine-rite Catholics dedicated to the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.