Last Friday in the papal library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis received in audience the Vice President of the United States Mike Pence.
When they met at the Vatican, Pence spoke with Pope Francis and said:
“Your Holiness. Nice to meet you. What a great honor. What a great honor. Thank you. I wanted to extend the warmest greetings on behalf of President Donald Trump who so enjoyed his visit here.”
Pope Francis replied “I don’t speak good English. I need a translator,” before the pair went into his private library to sit down for a conversation that lasted nearly an hour. After their conversation, Pence introduced Pope Francis to his wife, Karen, who said: “Your Holiness, it’s an honor to meet you. Thank you for your hospitality.” Pope Francis then met with the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich and her husband, Newt Gingrich.
The two then exchanged gifts, Pence giving Pope Francis a wooden cross made from a tree from Number One Observatory Circle and saying “every Vice President, since Walter Mondale has lived in the home.” Pope Francis gave Pence a medallion he said depicts “the angel of peace.” He also gave Pence a signed copy of his message for the World Day of Peace 2020, along with copies of “The Joy of the Gospel” and “Laudato Si.”
As they parted way, Pope Francis told Pence “You will pray for me, don’t forget. This role is not easy.” Pence replied “I won’t forget and I already do. Thank you, Your Holiness. You have made me a hero.”
In an interview, Mike Pence gave an interview with EWTN where he discussed what him and the Holy Father talked about.
“To hear his passion for the sanctity of life, and to hear the American Bishops were coming to him this month and speaking about their determination to see the Church in the United States continue as it has always done to stand without apology for the sanctity of human life. It was a great privilege.”
“Today in my discussions with Pope Francis, we spoke about a number of issues, including the Pope’s great concern for Christian and religious minorities in Iraq and across the Nineveh Plain. I told the Pope that we are very proud to work with many Catholic charities as we work to rebuild Christian communities that were so set upon through ISIS and terrorist action in the region in recent years.”
“I sought Pope Francis’ counsel about how we can work more closely with him and with the Church in Venezuela and across South and Central America to really continue to bring the kind of pressure to bear from the ground up that will make it possible for the people of Venezuela to have a new birth of freedom.”