President Gitanas Nausėda and the First Lady met with Pope Francis during an audience in the Vatican on November 8. At this historic meeting with Pope Francis, the first one during his term of office, the President thanked the Holy Father for his continued attention to Lithuania and his prayers for our country and its people.
During the conversation with the Pope, the President expressed gratitude for the extraordinary support to Lithuania shown by the Holy See during the occupation as well as lasting attention to our nation. The President also recalled that the appointment of Sigitas Tamkevičius, the archbishop emeritus of Kaunas, as a cardinal was a sign of exceptional respect for Lithuania.“Never before has Lithuania been so proud of having two cardinals at one time”, the President said.
The President expressed his respect and support for the activities of the Holy See and the Pope in promoting international peace, nuclear disarmament, the rule of law under international law, environmental protection, the preservation of human dignity and the promotion of respect for women. The President reminded the Pope the common aspirations of Lithuania and the Vatican to condemn aggression that threatens world peace and support the countries suffering from the aggression – Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova. Russia’s actions in the Baltic States and in the region, which are against the fundamental goals of security and wellbeing in the world, were discussed.
The President told Pope Francis about the goals of his term of office, which are linked to the mission of the Holy See. “Lithuania’s social policy is, and will continue to be, targeted at vulnerable families, people of the regions, and the elderly. I think that active social policy must be the primary objective of every state. We must share and pay more attention to everyone around us, to be more attentive to the weaker and the poor”, the President said. At the end of the audience, the President conveyed the best wishes of the people of Lithuania to Pope Francis.
After the meeting with the Pope, the President met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, to discuss bilateral relations between Lithuania and Italy and foreign policy issues. The President and the Cardinal discussed the security situation in the world, focusing on hybrid threats and cyber security. The President also expressed concerns over Russia’s hostility towards Lithuania demonstrated by refusing to issue visas to Lithuanians willing to visit the graves of Lithuanian intellectuals, freedom fighters, believers and clergy who died in exile. The situation in Ukraine as well as migration policy was also touched upon.
The President and the First Lady visited the Chapel of Our Lady of the Gates of Dawn and the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa at St. Peter’s Basilica and laid flowers at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.
Later today, meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti are also scheduled.
Last updated 2019.11.08 13:24Back