Luxembourg Prime Minister Visits Pope

Discuss Church-State Relations and Migrant Crisis in Europe

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The prime minister of Luxembourg visited Pope Francis at the Vatican today and the two discussed the relationship of Church and state and the right to religious freedom.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

“The cordial discussions offered the opportunity to reaffirm the wish to consolidate the existing good relations between the Holy See and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and to consider issues of common interest, with special attention to the relationship between Church and State, underlining the relevance of religious freedom and spiritual values for social cohesion,” a statement from the Vatican said.

It added: “Within the context of Luxembourg’s term of presidency of the European Union, attention then turned to various matters of a European and international nature, with particular reference to current conflicts, the issue of migration and the need to provide assistance to refugees and displaced persons, as well as the situation of persecuted religious minorities.”

The population of Luxembourg, which is slightly over a half million, is about 87% Catholic.

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