Emmanuel Macron was received by Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday, for the third time since he became president, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the end-of-life debate in France.
The French head of state, accompanied by his wife Brigitte Macron, arrived at the Apostolic Palace which adjoins St. Peter's Basilica in Rome for a private audience.
The tete-a-tete with the sovereign pontiff was to be followed by an interview with the number two of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, as well as with the pope's “minister” of foreign affairs, Bishop Paul Gallagher.< /p>
This is his third papal audience: the first in June 2018, while the second was less than a year ago, in November 2021.
President Macron has been in Rome since Sunday where he delivered a speech at the opening of an interreligious peace summit organized by the Italian Catholic community Sant'Egidio.
There he delivered a plea for peace in Ukraine, while emphasizing that this could only happen when the Ukrainians “decide” and on the “terms” of Kyiv.
On the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Pope Francis has not stopped condemning the conflict since February, while trying to maintain a diplomatic dialogue with Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church, which is very much aligned with the positions of the Kremlin.
Emmanuel Macron also called on religions, in his speech on Sunday, to their “duty of resistance” against “the drive for purity” and the return of the “great fears” that agitate Western societies.
According to the Elysée, the interview was also to focus on social debates in France, such as the reception of refugees and perhaps the end of life.
The pope spoke out on Friday against the euthanasia during a speech in front of French elected officials, at the very moment when Paris is preparing to launch a citizens' convention on this delicate question to lead to a possible change in the law.
The French president met Sunday evening on the sly the new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, becoming the first foreign leader to meet face-to-face with the leader of the post-fascist party Fratelli d'Italia, winner of the September elections in Italy.
He is due to see the Italian head of state Sergio Mattarella at a private lunch on Monday star.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128