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.
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