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Monday, February 16, 2015

Audience with the King of Tonga: satisfaction at the nomination of the first cardinal from the archipelago

Vatican City, 16 February 2015 (VIS) – Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience Their Majesties the King Tupou VI of Tonga and the Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho, who went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

His Majesty first expressed his satisfaction at the election of the first Cardinal from the archipelago, Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, underlining the enthusiasm of the population and the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and numerous Tongans at the Ordinary Public Consistory held on 14 February. During the cordial discussions, attention was paid to the recent political developments in the country and on a number of aspects of social and economic life, as well as the positive contribution of the Catholic Church in various areas of society.

There was subsequently an exchange of opinions on the international situation, with particular reference to the island States of the Pacific and the environmental problems that some of them are compelled to face.

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