German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Pope … again

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Pope Francis met privately for the fourth time on Saturday.

The Holy See Press Office called their discussions “cordial” and said they spoke about “the good relations and fruitful collaboration between the Holy See and Germany”.

They also discussed climate change and ways the world can work multilaterally to combat poverty, hunger and terrorism, in advance of the next G20 summit, Merkel said.

The summit will be held in Hamburg, Germany on 7–8 July.

Merkel said the pope encouraged her to work to preserve the Paris climate accord, despite her disappointment about US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement.

She also said she and Francis agree they’d love to see the world tear down walls and fight for international treaties, with a special emphasis on the plight in Africa.

During the course of their discussions, Francis and Merkel also spoke of Chancellor Helmut Kohl who died on Friday.

He told her he sent a telegram to the Kohl family saying:

“I would like to express my condolences to your family members and to you and to all the German people who empathize with the ‘Chancellor of the Unity,’” he said.

“Chancellor Kohl, who is a great and trusted European man, has worked with foresight and dedication for the good of people in Germany and in the neighboring European countries.”

Written in German, the telegram also stated the Pope’s wish that the “Merciful God” will reward him “for his tireless efforts in favor of unity of Germany and the union of Europe, as well as for his commitment to peace and reconciliation.”

Later Merkel and Francis exchanged gifts. She gave  Francis some of his favourite sweets and CDs of Beethoven’s works.

Merkel received German language editions of “The Joy of the Gospel,” “The Joy of Love” and Francis’s encyclical “Laudato Si’: on the care of our common home.”

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News category: World.

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