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PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER MEETS WITH HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Posted in Canada, Community

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Published on June 11, 2015 with No Comments

PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER MEETS WITH HIntroduction

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today had a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. The Prime Minister’s visit to the Holy See is part of a broader trip to Europe from June 6 to 11 that also included stops in Ukraine, Germany for the G-7 Summit, Poland and Italy.

During their meeting, Prime Minister Harper and Pope Francis discussed ways of strengthening relations between Canada and the Holy See with a particular emphasis on working together to defend religious freedom around the world. To this end, they discussed the importance of advocating on behalf of Christians and other religious minorities currently under threat in the Middle East, Eastern Ukraine, Crimea and Africa. Prime Minister Harper also drew attention to the letter sent by Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, to the Holy See regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Prime Minister also invited Pope Francis to consider visiting Canada in 2017 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Finally, Prime Minister Harper also met with His Grace Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. He expressed Canada’s appreciation for the role the Holy See is playing in promoting peace, interfaith dialogue and human rights worldwide. Prime Minister Harper also highlighted actions Canada is taking to improve maternal, newborn and child health in the poorest countries, which remains Canada’s top development priority.

Quick Facts

• Canada and the Holy See share a commitment to promoting human rights, human dignity and freedom of religion.
• This is Prime Minister Harper’s second visit to the Vatican. The Prime Minister met with Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

Quote

“It was an honour to meet His Holiness Pope Francis and discuss a broad range of pressing global issues, including the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East and ongoing violence in Ukraine.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

IS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

 

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