Pope Francis welcomes Bolivia's President Evo Morales during a meeting at the Vatican April 15. CNS photo/Courtesy of Alessandra Tarantino, pool via Reuters

Pope Francis meets with Bolivian president

By  Junno Arocho Esteves
  • April 15, 2016

VATICAN CITY – Meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Bolivian President Evo Morales discussed social policy and the economic situation facing his country.

Morales met the Pope April 15 before attending a two-day conference dedicated to St. John Paul II's 1991 social encyclical Centesimus Annus. The meeting was jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies.

Upon his arrival, the president embraced the Pope saying in Spanish: "What a joy to see you, brother Pope. I am very happy."

According to the Vatican, the two privately discussed "relations between Church and state, evoking Bolivia's long Christian tradition and the decisive contribution of the Church to the life of the nation."

"Reference was also made to questions of common interest, such as education, health care and assistance to the poor. Attention then turned to various international situations," the Vatican said.

After introducing members of his entourage, Morales gave the Pope two gifts: a three-book set on the health benefits of coca tea and a wooden bust of Tupac Katari, the 18th-century leader of the Bolivian indigenous rebellion against the Spanish empire.

The Pope remained silent as Morales explained the benefits of coca leaves. "I am taking them every day," he said.

For his part, the Pope gave the Bolivian president a large medallion of St. Martin of Tours giving his cloak to a poor person. He also handed him a copy of his recently published apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

Before heading to the Centesimus Annus conference, Morales also met with Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, the Vatican foreign minister.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.