Modi meets Pope Francis in Vatican City, discusses challenges posed by COVID-19, climate change
Vatican City, October 30, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic church in Vatican City, on Saturday and discussed with him, among other things, the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for people across the world.
During his private audience with the Pope at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, Modi also discussed with him the challenges posed to the world by climate change.
This was the first meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and the Pope in more than two decades. In June 2000, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had last visited the Vatican and met Pope John Paul II.
India and The Holy See have friendly relations dating back to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948. India is home to the second largest Catholic population in Asia, an official press release said.
The Prime Minister briefed the Pope about the ambitious initiatives taken by India in combating climate change as well as India's success in administering one billion Covid-19 vaccination doses. The Pope appreciated India’s assistance to countries in need during the pandemic.
Modi extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India at an early date, which was accepted with pleasure.
He also met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.