The good relations existing between the Holy See and Canada were at the center of discussions today between Pope Francis and the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, when they met this morning in the Vatican.
According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, their discussions were ‘cordial’ and highlighted the positive spirit of cooperation and dialogue between the Canadian federal government and the Church.
“In particular, Canada’s commitment to defend and promote religious freedom in the context of fundamental human rights were treated,” it stated.
It added that international political issues were also discussed. such as Europe and the Middle East and prospects for peace in that region, the fight against terrorism and environmental issues.
After meeting with Pope Francis, the Canadian Prime Minister subsequently met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States.
Of Canada’s some 34,835,000 people, Catholics make up about 41% of the predominantly Christian nation.
Last month, Canada celebrated its third national week for life and the family. The nation’s bishops have been vocal in protecting life and marriage, as well as condemning trafficking, abortion, and assisted suicide. Canada’s Supreme Court in February struck down a ban on assisted suicide.