Satisfaction was expressed for the good relations between Ireland and the Holy See and reference was made to some issues of common interest Photo: Vatican Media

President of Ireland visits the Pope: this is the fourth meeting between them

The President presented Pope Francis with a gift of artwork in recognition of the vital work the Pope has done to bring public attention to the plight of refugees and migrants around the world.

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 10.19.2023).- On the morning of Thursday, October 19, Pope Francis received in a private audience at the Vatican Apostolic Palace the President of Ireland, Mr. Michael D. Higgins. Following the audience with the Pope, President Higgins met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations.

During the cordial discussions held at the Secretariat of State, satisfaction was expressed regarding the good relations between Ireland and the Holy See, and some common-interest issues were referenced.

In the course of the conversation, various global topics were addressed, including food security in developing countries and the commitment to poverty eradication, environmental protection in light of the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation «Laudate Deum,» the phenomenon of migration in the current delicate global geopolitical situation, as well as the development of a multilateral approach that adequately responds to the current international landscape.

In a statement from the Irish government, it is noted that “President Higgins has praised the contribution which Pope Francis has made to the vital debate on these issues, including in his recent encyclical Laudate Deum”.

This meeting was the fourth such engagement between President Higgins and Pope Francis, following previous meetings in the Vatican in 2017 and 2021 and at Áras an Uachtaráin in 2018. President Higgins also met with Pope Francis at the Papal Inauguration in 2013.

At their meeting, President Higgins presented Pope Francis with a sculpture entitled ‘The Expelled’ by renowned Irish sculptor John Behan RHA. The President chose to present this piece to Pope Francis in recognition of the vital work which the Pope has carried out in drawing public attention to the plight of refugees and migrants across the world.

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