VIDEO - Pope Francis Meets Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Vatican for the 1st Time

The Pope meets Giorgia Meloni, the Prime Minister's first audience in the Vatican

The Italian Prime Minister was received this morning in the Apostolic Palace: a 35-minute conversation with Francis, then a meeting in the Secretariat of State with Cardinal Parolin and Monsignor Gallagher. Problems related to poverty, the family, the demographic phenomenon and the education of young people were addressed, with special reference to Europe, the war in Ukraine and migration

Meloni was accompanied by her young daughter Ginevra. The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni arrived at 9:58 on January 10th in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to be received by Pope Francis for the first time since her election. To welcome the premier, the first woman in this office in Italy, there were the Swiss Guards lined up in the guard of honor and the regent of the papal household, Father Leonardo Sapienza. Also present was Francesco Di Nitto, Italian ambassador to the Holy See.

Meloni wrote on Twitter: "Today in audience with His Holiness @Pontifex_it in the Vatican. An honor and emotional to have the opportunity to dialogue with the Holy Father on the great issues of our time."

From 10 to 10.35 the private conversation lasted in the Library Room with the Pope who briefly illustrated the artistic beauties kept in the Apostolic Palace, recounted in a volume on the Pontifical Audience Apartment, edited by the Prefecture of the Papal Household, which the Pontiff  then gave away. "Here in fact there is an infinity to tell", said Meloni. 

During the meeting, Meloni introduced Pope Francis to the rest of her cabinet before meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican Foreign Minister. Pope Francis then greeted the retinue, among which were present, among others, in addition to comrade Andrea Giambruno, also the undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council, Alfredo Mantovano, presented as a "great jurist", Carlo Deodato, general secretary of Palazzo Chigi, who jokingly asked the Pope to pray "for the Palazzo Chigi machine", then the head of the cabinet, Gaetano Caputi, the diplomatic adviser Francesco Talò and the military adviser Franco Federici. The Pope gave each one a rosary, while to the daughter of the premier gave some children's books, including one on the birth of Jesus.

The interview in the Secretariat of State

Giorgia Meloni then moved to the Secretariat of State for the meeting with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations. The Vatican Press Office reports that "during the cordial talks" "the good bilateral relations were underlined and some issues relating to the Italian social situation were mentioned", with particular reference to "problems related to the fight against poverty, the family, to the demographic phenomenon and to the education of young people”. In particular, that of the demographic phenomenon is a problem that is of great concern to the Pontiff, who has denounced on various occasions the challenge of the demographic winter that Italy must face. Yesterday too, in his long speech to the diplomatic corps, the Pontiff highlighted that Italy is an example of "a dangerous drop in the birth rate".

Also in the conversation at the Secretariat of State, the Vatican note informs, "issues of an international nature were examined, with special reference to Europe, the conflict in Ukraine and migration".

Edited from Vatican News with Information from the Twitter account of Giorgia Meloni