Vatican City, 18 April 2015 (VIS) - This morning the president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, paid a visit to the Holy Father Francis. The Head of the Italian State, accompanied by Paolo Gentiloni, minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation, subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the good relations between the Holy See and Italy, further consolidated by the recent signing of the Convention on fiscal matters. Themes relevant to the Italian social situation were then considered, with particular reference to the family, education, work and migration. Appreciation was affirmed for the cooperation of the Catholic Church in alleviating the situations of hardship that characterise some sectors of society. Mention was also made, within the framework of the current international situation, of the worrying spread of violence that continues to affect the eastern Mediterranean and North African areas.
The Parties confirmed their willingness to pursue their active collaboration on a bilateral level in the context of the international community, especially with regard to the promotion and protection of religious freedom and the dignity of human beings.