-"Holy Father, what an honor. What a pleasure. It's great to meet you.”
-I hope you feel at home.
-Yes, thank you, I do.
Shortly after Costa Rica's president met with Pope Francis, she decided to invite the Pontiff to visit her country. Moments later, as Laura Chinchilla met with the press, she acknowledged that it won't be easy to lock in a visit, but still, she says, she won't lose hope.
President of Costa Rica
"Of course, as you all know, one always tries to extend an invitation to the Pope, so that he hopefully visits our country during his next trip to Latin America. But that next visit won't necessarily be soon, since he recently visited the continent. In fact, he actually told me about other trips he is considering in different parts of the world. But hopefully he will keep us in mind and go back to Latin America soon.”
During their 25 minute meeting, both leaders discussed how they can work together to address issues like human trafficking, massive migration and environmental concerns.
The president highlighted that the Pope is above politics, giving him and the Vatican an important role in conflict mediation. As an example she talked about Syria.
President of Costa Rica
"We certainly appreciate it and thank him for it. We also ask him to continue raising his voice on behalf of world peace.”
Chinchilla gave the Pope a handmade stole made by indigenous women from Costa Rica. The Pope gave her a copy of the 'Aparecida' document and a medal of his pontificate.
"For when you come to Costa Rica.”
The president also added that she will not be attending John Paul II's canonization, but despite her absence, she said Costa Rica will definitely be present. The miracle which gave way to his canonization took place in Costa Rica, when
Floribeth Mora Diaz, was cured from her illness.
President Costa Rica
"Floribeth, is the woman at the center of this experience. She and her family are very much appreciated in Costa Rica. So I also discussed this with the Pope, as far as how this miracle is affecting Costa Rican's in a very positive way. And without a doubt, there will definitely be a lot of people flying in from Costa Rica to visit Rome and the Holy See.”
This is the second time, the president has met with a Pontiff. The first was back in May 2012 when she met with Benedict XVI, about 10 months before his resignation.
AA / CTV