Belfast Telegraph

Irish President Michael D Higgins will meet Pope Francis

By Staff Reporter

Irish President Michael D Higgins will meet Pope Francis in Rome on Monday.

The President's office confirmed the audience would take place in the Papal Library at the Vatican and that the two Heads of State will discuss issues of "regional and global importance".

While in Rome Mr Higgins will hold talks with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican, and meet Irish clergy and lay staff working at the Holy See.

The President will also travel to Venice for the Biennale on Sunday, the world's largest and oldest international art exhibition.

Earlier this month Mr Higgins met the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Pope Tawadros had been in Ireland for a five-day visit.

Mr Higgins commiserated with the Coptic Orthodox leader over the recent killings of scores of his followers in bombings by Islamist extremists. Three attacks on Coptic churches and cathedrals in recent months which claimed some 80 lives have been claimed by IS.

Belfast Telegraph

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