VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI received in audience today the president of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna.
Highlighted during this visit was the importance of continuing to promote human life, the Church’s contribution to the country’s development, the authorities’ commitment to address the country’s social problems and the country’s contribution to the organization of humanitarian aid in Haiti.
The talks took place “in a climate of cordiality,” stated a communiqué of the Vatican press office.
“The importance was stressed of continuing to promote human life, from conception until natural death,” it continued.
In this connection, despite the threats to the inviolability of life, last September the country’s Assembly reiterated its opposition to abortion, stating the principle that “the right to life is inviolable from conception until death.”
Also “appreciated” in today’s meetings in the Vatican was “the great contribution that the Church offers to the country’s development, especially in the fields of education and health, where it pays special attention to the neediest.”
Also exchanged were “opinions on the commitment of the Dominican authorities to address the social problems that afflict their country.”
Among those problems, which the Church has pointed out on previous occasions, are corruption, violence, drugs and poverty, and the need for the authorities to intervene in a more active way.
Finally, the talks also focused on the international and regional situation.
In this regard, the communiqué concluded by noting that “manifested has been the role of the Dominican Republic in the organization of humanitarian aid in Haiti.”
The Dominican president subsequently met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope’s secretary of state, who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Vatican secretary for relations with states.