Pope, Mbeki discuss poverty

first_img9 May 2005President Thabo Mbeki hailed Pope Benedict XVI as a partner in the struggle against global poverty after an audience with the Pontiff in Vatican City on Friday.Mbeki was the second world leader – after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – to have an audience with German-born Joseph Ratzinger after his installation as Pope Benedict XVI in April.Mbeki was on a two-day official visit to Rome during which he met with Berlusconi and addressed top European CEOs at a conference in Venice organised by international securities firm Morgan Stanley.The selection of Ratzinger as Pope drew mixed reactions in the developing world, which is home to most of the world’s Catholics. Many Catholics, particularly in Africa and South America, expected one of their religious leaders to be posted to the Vatican.But Mbeki welcomed the election of Ratzinger, saying he was convinced that the new Pope would be an “ally” of Africa, and after Friday’s meeting Mbeki hailed Benedict as a partner in the struggle against global poverty.“The voice of the Pope in support of this global struggle against poverty is very important,” Mbeki told reporters after the meeting.“He indicated the commitment of the church to this particular project with regard to poverty but also to peace and stability – a major challenge on the African continent”, Mbeki said.“I am really very, very pleased that we are clearly in tandem in terms of thinking about these major challenges.”SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *