Pope Francis met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the Vatican this morning. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists that the Holy Father spoke in private with President Rousseff for 15 minutes before meeting with her entourage.
The Brazilian president was also present for yesterday’s Inauguration to the Petrine Ministry Mass at St. Peter’s Square.
Fr. Lombardi stated that President Rousseff renewed the invitation to the Holy Father to come to Brazil, where World Youth Day 2013 is to be held in July. An estimated 4 million youth are expected to attend the event in Rio de Janeiro.
After meeting privately with the Brazilian head of state, the Holy Father presented the president with a copy of the Aparecida document. The document, which was also given to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was the result of the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Aparecida, Brazil, in May 2007. Pope Francis, then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, played a significant role in the drafting of the document.
The Aparecida Document addressed the challenges of the Evangelization in today’s world. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who opened the General Congregation in his first visit to Latin America, stated that the Aparecida document contained “numerous pastoral indications, motivated by thoughtful reflections in light of the faith and the current social context.”
When asked by journalists on a possible visit to the the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Sao Paolo, Fr. Lombardi stated that he has yet to receive any details on the the Pope’s schedule during his visit to Brazil. The director of the Holy See Press Office said that today’s meeting only re-established the invitation to His Holiness to come to Brazil.
“I will await a communication from the Pope regarding the visits he intends to do and also on the eventual schedule of his trip to Brazil,” Fr. Lombardi said.
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