“The Vatican announced Thursday that Pope Francis will travel to Bulgaria and Macedonia May 5-7, 2019, with a stop in Mother Teresa’s hometown of Skopje.

The Pope will spend the bulk of the trip in the Bulgarian cities of Sofia and Rakovski before visiting Skopje, Macedonia, the birthplace of Mother Teresa, on May 7While Mother Teresa is commonly associated with the Indian city included in her heavenly title of St. Teresa of Calcutta, she spent the first 17 years of her life as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, before receiving her call to a vocation as a missionary sister in 1928.” (National Catholic Register)

“Police in northern Greece have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters opposed to a proposed agreement with neighbor Macedonia that would end a decades-long name dispute.

The protesters challenged a heavily patrolled police cordon late Friday in the northern city of Thessaloniki where left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke to supporters in a televised address.” (ABC News)

“Macedonia and Bulgaria’s long-simmering dispute over the Macedonian language is threatening to boil over again, just as Skopje nears a resolution to its dispute with Greece over the name ‘Macedonia.’

Greece and Macedonia’s name-change deal in June, the so-called Prespa agreement, aims to alleviate Athens’ concerns about potential territorial claims from Skopje — clearing the way for the former Yugoslav republic to move forward with its efforts to join NATO and the European Union.

But a junior partner in Bulgaria’s coalition government, the Bulgarian Nationalist Movement (VMRO-BND), raised the possibility this week of new hurdles for Skopje by threatening to withdraw Sofia’s support for Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.” (RFE/RL)