Honduran President Visits Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The president of Honduras visited Benedict XVI today, speaking with him about improvements in international relations with the Central American country.

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The Vatican reported the visit of Porfirio Lobo Sosa to the Pope, and also to the Holy Father’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and the secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

«During the cordial discussions appreciation was expressed for the great contribution the Church makes to development in Honduras, especially in the fields of education and health care. Emphasis was also given to the importance of continuing to foment reconciliation, mutual understanding, solidarity and peace in the country, in a persistent search for the common good,» a Vatican communiqué reported.

In addition to discussing Honduras’ improved international relations, the parties considered «other questions regarding the international scene,» the note added.

Just four months ago, Honduras was readmitted to the Organization of American States (OAS) after a June 2009 bloodless coup ousted the president of the time, Manuel Zelaya. Though Zelaya’s government was heavily criticized in many quarters — and the ousting was due to his purported attempts to extend his term — the coup received international criticism.

Still, Lobo was elected a short time afterward and installed in January 2010; many nations subsequently recognized his government and the country began again to benefit from international aid. However, some Latin American countries continued to protest and it wasn’t until Zelaya was allowed to return home this May that the situation with the OAS normalized.

Honduras is 97% Catholic.

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