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| Home | News | Photo | Meeting of Pope Francis and Alexander Lukashenko in Vatican

Meeting of Pope Francis and Alexander Lukashenko in Vatican

Meeting of Pope Francis and Alexander Lukashenko in Vatican
21 May 2016

On the second day of the visit on 21 May President Alexander Lukashenko met with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

The high-level talks took place in the hall of the Vatican Library of the Apostolic Palace, where, traditionally, the head of the Roman Catholic Church receives world leaders and religious hierarchs. Alexander Lukashenko and Pope Francis spent nearly half an hour to discuss the relations between Belarus and the Roman Catholic Church, and other issues of the European and world agenda, religious and secular affairs.

Later, in the presence of the delegations, the President of Belarus and the Pope of Rome exchanged presents. Alexander Lukashenko gave the Pope a replica of the famous Belarusian relic, the Cross of St. Euphrosyne, recreated in the unique woodcarving technology, and also a model of the papal carriage, made in the same technique, and a holographic icon.

Pope Francis gave the Belarusian President his three written works (about the Gospel, nature protection and the family) and an artwork featuring olive tree, the symbol of peace, thus emphasizing Belarus’ peaceful mission.

After the meeting with Pope Francis Alexander Lukashenko met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. Together they visited a unique exhibition of Belarusian icons which are equally revered by Catholic and Orthodox believers in Belarus. This exhibition was opened in a museum of the Vatican in close vicinity to the famous Sistine Chapel.

When answering reporters’ questions after the high-level talks, Alexander Lukashenko said that he had invited Pope Francis to visit Belarus. It was an invitation not only to visit the country where representatives of various religious denominations live in harmony, but also an invitation to meet with the Orthodox Patriarch in a landmark place

St Peter's Basilica
Alexander Lukashenko is greeted in St Damaso Courtyard
The ceremony of official welcome for Alexander Lukashenko in the Apostolic Palace
The ceremony of official welcome for Alexander Lukashenko in the Apostolic Palace
Meeting of Pope Francis and Alexander Lukashenko in Vatican
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