Benedict XVI Receives Irish Prime Minister

VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2005 ( Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern was received by Benedict XVI in a 25-minute private audience.

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The Vatican press office gave no details of today’s meeting.

The prime minister met later with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, and prayed at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.

In statements on Vatican Radio, Ahern expressed his “huge sorrow” and “solidarity” following the transit bombings in London, and said he would send a message of sympathy to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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