Pope Meets With Italian Prime Minister

Economic, Social Difficulties, Importance of Education Discussed

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In the wake of Pope Francis’ Nov. 25 apostolic visit to Strasbourg to address the European Parliament and Council of Europe, the Holy Father on Saturday received in audience Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the Vatican.

According to a statement released by the Holy See, the discussions took place in a “serene” and “cordial” atmosphere.

Among the issues focused on, the statement noted, was “the current context of persistent difficulties of an economic and social nature,” with negative consequences “especially in relation to youth employment.”

It added that importance of education to promote the future of new generations was also stressed.

“Various themes relating to international politics were then considered and the parties shared their serious concerns for the gradual worsening of conflicts in the Middle East.”

With regard to the term of the Italian Presidency of the European Union, the parties affirmed the importance of the themes mentioned by the Holy Father during his recent address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

These, it added, were held to be “fundamental to the harmonious development of European peoples.”

Finally, the parties renewed their commitment to continuing their joint cooperation to resolve various issues of a bilateral nature.

Following the papal audience, the Italian Prime Minister met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Translation of Pope’s Address to European Parliament: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-the-european-parliament

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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