Pope Francis today met with the President Maithripala Sirisena, who subsequently met with the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States.
A statement from the Holy See Press Office called the discussions “cordial”, and said the two men began the meeting by recalling the Holy Father’s visit to Sri Lanka last January, Radio Vatican reported.
Their subsequent discussions focused on certain aspects of the country’s recent history and the process of peace and reconciliation that is underway, with the hope that it may contribute to promoting stable social harmony.
Furthermore, they emphasized the contribution of the Catholic Church in various sectors of society and the importance of interreligious dialogue.
There was also an exchange of opinions on the theme of the environment and an evaluation of the results of the Conference on climate change, recently concluded in Paris.
President Sirisena gave the Pope a large silver vase, and the Holy Father gave the Sri Lankan leader a wooden depiction of the “Tree of Peace,” made with two intertwined olive branches. (Colombo Gazette)