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Meeting Between Pope Francis and Argentine President Signals Possible Turn in Relationship

Pope Francis met with Argentine President Javier Milei in a highly anticipated private audience on Monday morning, showcasing a possible rapprochement after the South American politician voiced sharp criticisms of the pontiff last year.

According to Francisco Sánchez, the undersecretary of Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship — who was part of the country’s official delegation to the Vatican — the meeting was full of “surprising aspects” and “took place in a very cordial way, with a lot of sympathy, with a lot of friendship between the two,” Italian News outlet ANSA reported.

Sánchez observed that the two met for over an hour, “which is not generally granted to international delegations received by the pontiff.”

Pope Francis meets with Argentina President Javier Milei in a private audience on Feb. 12, 2024, at the Vatican. Credit: Vatican Media

The Argentine online news outlet Infobae reported that after the meeting, Milei said the Pope “was satisfied with the economic and social support program” that his government has spearheaded since taking office on Dec. 10, 2023.

An official press release from the Holy See Press Office noted that after the meeting with the Pope, Milei was received by the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin as well as Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the secretary for relations with states and international organizations.

“Appreciation was expressed for the good relations between the Holy See and the Argentine Republic, and the will to strengthen them further. The parties then addressed the new government’s program to counter the economic crisis,” the press release stated.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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