Pope Francis met with President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archange Touadéra, this morning.
According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office this morning, the Pope recalled the warm welcome he received during his pastoral journey to that country last November during his first Apostolic Visit to Africa, Nov. 25-30, which also brought him to Kenya and Uganda.
Stating their discussions were cordial, the statement said, “The recent electoral process and the renovation of the country’s institutions are taking place in a constructive climate, with the contribution of dialogue between religious confessions,” and the hope was expressed “that this may mark the beginning of a time of peace and prosperity for the entire nation.”
“At the same time, it emerged that the consequences of the conflicts of recent years continue to weigh upon the population, and the important role of the international Community in supporting the development of the country was emphasized.”
The communique added the two leaders also spoke about the good bilateral relations between the Holy See and the Central African Republic, and their hope that these can be further consolidated in the framework of international law.
“Appreciation was expressed for the contribution that the work of the Church and her pastors brings to society, especially in the fields of education and healthcare, and also with a view to reconciliation and national reconstruction,” it said.
After meeting with the Pope, the president met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher.