Pope Francis Receives Prime Minister of East Timor

Meeting Also Involved Exchange of Instruments for Ratification of Accord between Holy See, and Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

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Pope Francis received the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) Rui Maria de Araújo.
According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, the discussions were cordial.
Themes discussed, it noted, included the good relations between the Holy See and Timor-Leste, as well as «the historical contribution of the Church to building up the nation and collaboration with the civil Authorities in various social areas, such as education, health and the fight against poverty.»
After meeting with the Pope, the prime minister met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the Under-Secretary for Relations with States, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri.
Following the meeting with Cardinal Parolin, there was an exchange of instruments for the ratification of the Accord between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, which on Aug. 14, 2015, was signed in Dili.
Composed of a Preamble and 26 articles, the accord decrees the recognition of the legal personality of the Church and her institutions.
It also guarantees to the Church the freedom to carry out her mission in favor of the Timorese population.
The exchange signifies ratification of the agreement which contains 26 articles that recognizes the Church as having juridical rights.
Addressing those present, Cardinal Parolin said the agreement represents many years of negotiations after much dialogue and cooperation.
The prelate noted how the accord represents commitments to education, health and combatting poverty. The Vatican Secretary of State concluded, praying to Mary to protect the people of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

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