2009-02-19 15:05:17

Pope and UK Premier Urge World Leaders to Keep Millenium Promises

(19 Feb 09 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI received British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today in private audience. The Global financial crises dominated discussion between the Pope and Prime Minister Brown as well as the duty of World leaders to pursue initiatives benefiting developing countries. Philippa Hitchen caught up with the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Cambell, who accompanied the Prime Minister to meetings with the Pope and Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
“They talked in great detail about the economic crisis and the potential impact this will have on the developing world particularly in Africa. The gift the Prime Minister presented to the Pope reflects this concern for Africa, it was a personal present, a thank you from a mother and child in Ethiopia, to the Pope for his contribution in buying the first immunisation bond in November 2006. That bond so far has raised 1.6 billion dollars for immunisation”.

Q: “I understand that during the conversations the possibility of a Papal visit to the United Kingdom came about”

“The Prime Minister said that in the course of his one-to-one with the Holy Father they talked about his possibly of visiting the UK. We certainly have left the Vatican no doubt that the Pope would be welcome to visit the UK and there were some parallel conversations about what occasions might arise for the Holy Father to visit and there was some suggestions of the possible beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman might be a suitable occassion that the Pope might consider a visit to the country”. RealAudioMP3

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