News
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 Catholics by rushing through a law on same-sex marriage last year after several huge street protests by mostly Catholic groups.

The socialist president announced this month that he planned a second controversial reform this year, the legalisation of assisted suicide. A group of Catholics drew up a petition asking Pope Francis to express “the growing concern of many French Catholics” to Mr Hollande when they meet. More than 100,000 people signed the petition.





Share this story

Article List


Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up

Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Top