Congo's President Greets Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2010 ( Benedict XVI received in audience today the president of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, during which the two reaffirmed today their “common will to reinforce the good relations between the Holy and See and the Republic of Congo.”

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A Vatican communiqué released after the meeting noted that the meeting between the two were “cordial” and that they spoke of “the initiatives that will take place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence.”

The note said that the president and the Holy Father also discussed “the particular contribution of the Catholic Church in favor of human, social and cultural development,” and they “exchanged points of view on the political and social situation, with attention to the humanitarian problems, in particular with regard to refugees.”

The Congolese leader subsequently met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pontiff’s secretary of state, who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the secretary for relations with states.

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