MALACCA - The Vatican is impressed with Malacca's policy of promoting moderation and harmonious living among its various ethnic groups.
The Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino said the Holy See had a high regard for such approaches.
"This is an exemplary state. We admire Malacca for ensuring racial unity with minimal issues on race relations," he said after calling on State Secretary Datuk Wira Nain Abu Bakar at Seri Negeri here yesterday.
Marino, who was posted as the Vatican's first resident Apostolic Nuncio here in 2013, visited the Portuguese Settlement here where he witnessed the Festa San Juan (feast of St John the Baptist) which is celebrated with much religious fervour and reverence.
About 14 Roman Catholic priests gathered there to welcome the Vatican's representative.
Joseph Sta Maria, who is the representative of minority ethnic communities under social service unit Pembela, described Archbishop Marino's visit to the historical city as most significant to the Roman Catholic community here.
"He was brought to various historical sites. The prayers at the Portuguese Settlement meant a lot to all of us," he said.
Sta Maria said the Archbishop also visited the 466-year-old ruins of the ancient Rosary Chapel (Ermida de Rosario) at Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai along Sungai Malacca.
Malaysia established diplomatic relations with the Vatican following a meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Pope Benedict XVI in July 2011.