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Friday, April 20, 2012


Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - Among the many people who have contacted the Holy Father Benedict XVI to congratulate him on his birthday, and on the seventh election of his election, was Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, who made a private visit to the Vatican to see the Pope on Wednesday.

The visit reflects the climate of understanding and collaboration between Italy and the Holy See, which was also on display later that day, during the traditional reception offered by the apostolic nunciature to Italy to mark the anniversary of the papal election. Prime Minister Monti attended and was welcomed by the nuncio, Archbishop Adriano Bernardini. Also present were the ministers of justice, employment, and economic development, as well as other national, regional and local authorities, and ecclesiastical figures. During the event, Prime Minister Monti held a long talk with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also sent the Pope a message of congratulation, in the name of President Barack Obama. The message highlights Benedict XVI's tireless efforts "to unite peoples of different faiths" in the one creed of peace.

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