Pope Francis received in audience the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Their private conversation lasted 45 minutes and concerned, inter alia, challenges in the European Union and the scandal related to crimes in the Church.
This is the last visit Angela Merkel as head of the German government in the Vatican. After its conclusion, the chancellor reported to journalists that she had talked with Franciszek about political challenges, including those facing the European Union. She recalled that the Pope had recently visited Central Europe, which was a reference to his September trip to Budapest and Slovakia.
– We talked about the climate conference (COP26 – ed.), Which will be held in Glasgow. During the talks, we considered the Paris agreement (on the climate) to be important, said Merkel. She pointed out that the topic of environmental protection is also present in the Catholic Church and pointed out to Francis’ commitment to these issues.
“Humanity’s response to climate change requires radical changes to the way we live,” she said.
Angela Merkel’s meeting with the Pope. Presents
Among the topics of her conversation with the Pope, she mentioned the issue of sexual crimes in the Church. At the same time, she stated that “the truth must come to light”. She also expressed her appreciation for the activities of the Church’s humanitarian organizations.
Merkel presented the Pope with a volume on Michelangelo and German culinary specialties. She herself received a set of papal documents as a gift, including encyclicals and a bas-relief depicting the Holy Door from the Vatican Basilica.
On TV, you can hear the chancellor shaking hands with the Pope at the end of the talks, saying goodbye with the word “arrivederci”.
In the afternoon, Merkel will take part with the Pope in an ecumenical prayer for peace organized in the Colosseum by the community of Sant’Egidio.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / VATICAN MEDIA HANDOUT