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Headlines > Embattled Hollande visits Pope in Vatican

23 January 2014 | by Tom Heneghan

Embattled Hollande visits Pope in Vatican

France

 
President François Hollande, who was to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday, said in advance he wanted to talk with the Pope about the war in Syria, peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the plight of Christians in the Middle East and defending the global environment, writes Tom Heneghan. The Pope could be “useful” on several subjects, he said. Absent from his list were any of the issues challenging Mr Hollande in France, including several of concern to French Catholics. He sidestepped possible protocol snags by bringing neither Valérie Trierweiler, his companion until recently seen as the “First Lady” of France, nor his latest reported amour, actress Julie Gayet. Mr Hollande, a dedicated secularist, angered French bishops and many Catholi


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