Francis Receives Governor General of New Zealand

Audience is a First in Country’s History

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Pope Francis received today in private audience the governor general of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae.

During the “cordial discussions”, the Vatican said in a statement the parties “focused on a number of aspects of the social and economic life of the country, as well as the valuable contribution of the Catholic Church in various sectors of New Zealand society.

“There was also an exchange of opinions on the international situation, with particular reference to regional cooperation in various development programmes and participation in peace missions in different parts of the world,” the statement said.

Historians say it is the first time in the country’s history that its governor general has visited the Pope in Rome. New Zealand and the Holy See established formal diplomatic ties in 1973.

After the audience, Sir Jerry went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

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