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Pope Francis Will Consider Fiji Visit

His Holiness Pope Francis will consider visiting Fiji. This is after he met our President, Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, last Friday at the Palace of the Holy Office
27 Mar 2017 10:37
Pope Francis Will Consider Fiji Visit
The President, Major-General (ret'd) Jioji Konrote, with His Holiness Pope Francis in the Vatican City. Photo: AP

His Holiness Pope Francis will consider visiting Fiji.

This is after he met our President, Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, last Friday at the Palace of the Holy Office at the Vatican.

The meeting, which lasted 30 minutes, was described as “fruitful and inspiring”, a statement said.

Discussions focused on the existing good relations between the Holy See and Fiji, the positive contribution of the Catholic Church in Fiji to nation building and Fiji’s upcoming global responsibilities on Oceans and climate change.

President Konrote said they also discussed the issue of climate change and Fiji’s Presidency of COP23.

He also took the opportunity to request Pope Francis to support Fiji’s leadership responsibilities.

The Pope spoke about the ethical dimensions of climate change, which he said demanded solidarity with the most vulnerable social groups and countries, and with the new generations.

“Pope Francis possessed a very good sense of humour and we had a very positive discussions on the important international responsibilities Fiji was assuming,” President Konrote said according to the  a statement.

Pope Francis was presented a lali (Fiji wooden gong) carved from a mahogany tree that once stood outside Fiji’s state-house that fell in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“The wooden lali carving was symbolic to summon the world to take action on climate change,” the President said.

The Holy Father reciprocated by presenting a porcelain plate with a painting impressing humanities obligation to care for creation, a Jubilee Medal of Pope Francis’s fourth anniversary to the Papacy, as well as copies of many of his writings including the Laudato Si – an encyclical on earth-keeping and the responsibility to care for the whole of creation.

President Konrote also met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

Again the President spoke of the situation here and what the Pacific people were facing with climate change and rising sea levels. He also spoke of the robust economic performance of the country’s economy notwithstanding the impact of the recent cyclone and flooding.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

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