Thursday, 19 April 2007

Vatican Statement on Ban Ki-moon's Visit to Pope

Secretary-General Invited Benedict XVI to the U.N.

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 18, 2007 ( Here is a translation of the statement released by the Vatican press office today, after a meeting between Benedict XVI and U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

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This afternoon, His Holiness Benedict XVI has received in audience the secretary-general of the United Nations Organization, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. The audience falls in the series of previous encounters that Popes, and particularly John Paul II, have offered to secretaries-general of the U.N., as a sign, among other things, of the appreciation which the Holy See has for the central role carried out by the organization in maintaining peace in the world and promoting the development of peoples.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon has wanted to visit the Holy Father in the course of his first trips taken to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, shortly after taking on his new post last Jan. 1, so as to officially invite him to visit the see of the United Nations.

His Holiness and Mr. Ban Ki-moon have discussed themes of common interest, for example, the restoration of trust in multilateral relations and the strengthening of dialogue between cultures, not failing to mention the international situations that merit particular attention.

It has been recalled, furthermore, the contribution that the Catholic Church and the Holy See can make -- maintaining its identity and with the means proper to it -- to the action of the United Nations in resolving current conflicts and reaching understanding between nations.

The pontifical audience was followed by a fruitful conversation between the secretary-general and the secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was accompanied by the secretary of relations with states, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.