Photo: President Laura Chinchilla and the Pope
This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Laura Chinchilla Miranda, president of Costa Rica. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
President Chincilla and the Pope had a closed door meeting for about 20 minutes where they discussed sensitive issues like in vitro fertilization and Costa Rica’s treaty with the Vatican. The Pope also took this opportunity to compliment the people of Costa Rica for their commitment to peace, democracy, development and environmental protection.
The Vatican released the following statement regarding President Chinchilla’s visit:
“During their cordial discussions the parties highlighted the good relations that exist between the Holy See, the local Church and the State, expressing the hope that they may be strengthened by an Agreement respectful of the identity of the country and of the healthy autonomy and collaboration between civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Mention was then made of the special contribution the Church makes through her educational, social and charitable institutions. Finally attention turned to the importance of continuing to protect the fundamental dignity of human beings, from the moment of conception”.
Chincilla was on an official European tour that included France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.