Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican last week. They spoke privately for 27 minutes.
The Prince and the Pope joked about the gifts they gave each other. Charles said it was “difficult to know what to give Your Holiness”. He gave Francis a basket full of produce from the Royal Gardens at Highgrove, their private residence.
“It may come in handy. Somebody else might like it. It’s all home-made things I produce,” he explained. Camilla assured the Pope: “It’s very good.”
Pope Francis presented Prince Charles with “a symbol of peace”, a bronze sculpture of an olive branch in a white box.
“Wherever you go, may you be a man of peace,” he said.
“I’ll do my best,” Prince Charles replied.
Pope Francis also gave Charles and Camilla hardbound copies of two apostolic exhortations, Amoris Laetitia and Evangelii Gaudium, as well as his 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.
“These are works of mine,” Pope Francis said.
“Are they in English?” asked Charles, and Pope Francis, laughing, said “Yes.” Laudato Si’ was particularly significant, since Charles is a passionate environmentalist.
“The environment was a theme of the visit, and His Royal Highness joined a round-table discussion with senior Holy See officials on the subject,” according to the British Embassy to the Holy See.
The royal couple also met Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and were given a private tour of the Vatican Secret Archives.
Pontiff meets four British imams
Pope Francis has told four British imams that listening is the key part of dialogue.
“The most important work we must do today among ourselves and with humanity is the work of ‘the ear’: listening. Listening to one another without hurrying to give a response,” he said.
One of the imams, Moulana Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, said he was “deeply moved” by the audience.
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