VATICAN CITY, DEC. 13, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican's secretary for Relations with States, is currently visiting Chile in response to an official invitation from the government.
The prelate met with Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno Charme, and with ministerial officials, before going on to meet with Sebastian Piñera at the Palacio de la Moneda in the nation's capital, Santiago de Chile.
A Vatican communiqué today noted that during the meetings "satisfaction was expressed at the excellent state of bilateral relations between Chile and the Holy See, and at the positive contribution Catholic institutions make to Chilean society, especially in the fields of education, social work and the integration of indigenous peoples."
"Further attention was given to themes discussed during the official visit of the Chilean president to the Vatican in March this year, when he met with His Holiness Benedict XVI," the statement added.
Archbishop Mamberti and the Chilean officials discussed life and family issues, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion and education. They also touched on adherence to the principles of international law, the protection of the environment, and support for integral development and social peace.
"In all of these matters, the views of the Holy See and the government of Chile converged on the fundamental values of human coexistence," the communiqué noted. "Opinions were also exchanged on various international issues, including the situation of Latin America."
The secretary for Relations with States today traveled to Valparaiso, site of the National Congress, to meet with the presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Stops at the shrines for Chile's two local saints, St. Alberto Hurtado and St. Teresita de los Andes, were also on his schedule.