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Irish President Michael D. Higgins Holds Meaningful Meeting with Pope Francis in Rome

Dublin: Irish President Michael D. Higgins embarked on a significant visit to Rome, where he met with Pope Francis to discuss critical global issues. Despite his well-known public differences with the Church’s stance on matters related to immigration and the environment, President Higgins expressed his admiration for the Pope and his emphasis on humanitarian concerns.

During his five-day visit, President Higgins commended the Church’s support for immigration, recognising the vital role immigrants have played in maintaining Ireland’s healthcare system. He specifically acknowledged the contributions of Indian and Filipino nurses and other healthcare workers in Ireland.

In a statement to the media following his private audience with Pope Francis, President Higgins praised the Pope’s compassionate approach towards the LGBTQ+ community and those who do not identify as Catholics. He also called for gender equality in all levels of decision-making within the church.

Last month, Pope Francis passionately addressed the global challenge of indifference towards migrants seeking better lives.

During the visit, President Higgins presented Pope Francis with a sculpture titled ‘The Expelled,’ created by renowned Irish sculptor John Behan. The sculpture, known for its representation of refugee experiences, aligns with the Pope’s advocacy for refugees and migrants worldwide.

President Higgins further revealed that he gifted Pope Francis a translated copy of his poem ‘Prophets Weep.’ The two leaders engaged in an open and meaningful dialogue, addressing critical issues such as immigration, climate change, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.


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