Pope Francis, right, talks to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. (Photo: REUTERS/Tiziana Fabi/Pool)

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves met with head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, during an official visit to the Vatican on Thursday.

A release from the Vatican said Gonsalves also met with the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

“The colloquial discussions focused on matters of common interest such as the defence of life and the family, education and interreligious dialogue.

“Finally, mention was made of various issues regarding the countries in the area and collaboration within the ambit of regional organisations,” a release from the Vatican said.

A video posted on the Internet shows the pontiff telling Gonsalves in welcome, “I hope you feel at home.”

“Thank you very much. I’m so honoured to be here with you,” responded Gonsalves, who is a Catholic.

Gonsalves then went on to introduce his youngest daughter, Soleil Gonsalves, who is a member of the official delegation visiting Vatican City.

Gonsalves gave the pope a number of books, including his autobiography, “The Making of De Comrade” and a volume detailing several of the Grenadine islands.

The pope gave Gonsalves a commemorative pen.

“I will keep in touch with you. God bless!” Gonsalves said at the end of the meeting.

Gonsalves left St. Vincent on Monday to visit the Vatican at the invitation of Pope Francis, the Office of the Prime Minister said in a release.

He heads a delegation that also includes his wife Eloise Gonsalves, and their children, Isis, and Storm.

The Prime Minister’s mother-in-law, Dominican Ursula Claudia Harris, is also part of the delegation.

The other members of the delegation are Wafic Said, non-resident ambassador to the Holy See and his wife, Rosemary Said.

This country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, I. Rhonda King, and

Adrian De Freitas, a representative of the Catholic Community.

Gonsalves is expected to spend Christmas in Britain and return to St. Vincent on Dec. 28.

Gonsalves has also visited the now deceased Pope John Paul II.

8 replies on “PM Gonsalves meets with Pope Francis”

  1. Official Delegation, really, is that like a State Visit?

    THE ROME SENTINEL. The News paper of the Vatican confirmed the following,
    “Pope Francis met with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines during a private audience at the Vatican Dec. 19”.
    http://www.romesentinel.com/news

    Concise English Dictionary
    official
    n adjective
    1 relating to an authority or public body and its activities and responsibilities.
    2 having the approval or authorization of such a body.
    n noun a person holding public office or having official duties.

    Surely we should be talking about a family party or group, not an official delegation attending a State Visit. Simple an audience with the Pope, why continue with the embroidery?

    I have written a letter which hopefuly Mr Chance will publish, full details are in that.

    1. I am confused. I always thought that Dr. Gonsalves was an atheist. When did he convert? Could it have been when he entered electoral politics realizing that a heathen could never gain power among the God-fearing Vincentian masses?

  2. To be more Christian-like I think Gonsalves should of gone before the courts to answer all the charges and allegations of RAPE and sexual crimes. According to the DPP, on record as being at least 5 accusations, some which he chucked out or disallowed, some he said were to old to be credible.

    Justice must be seen to be done. As our leader, it was most important that he cleared his name through the courts.

  3. JACOB STAPLETON, it appears to me that you are saying that although something wrong may of been done, its OK by you, and we should stop voicing off about it because we may have done the same given the opportunity.

    If that is what you are saying and thats your opinion, I say shame on you.

    It is healthy to be voicing opinions against what one may believe to be a political or social wrong.

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