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Pope Francis meets with Chilean President who has proposed legalizing abortion

2015-06-05

"Madame, welcome.”
"It's a pleasure, Your Holiness. I'm thrilled to be here.”

This greeting marked the start of the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet's meeting with Pope Francis. 

Their agenda was full. They discussed relations between Chile and the Holy See, education, and, according to a press release from the Vatican, "the preservation of human life.”

Bachelet supports legalizing abortion in three instances: risk to the mother, unviablity of the pregnancy, or rape. After the meeting, the president spoke to the press but did not answer questions about whether Pope Francis discussed the proposed abortion law with her.

MICHELLE BACHELET
President of Chile
"It was a meeting where he had been extraordinarily caring and informative. He seemed supportive of making Chile a more just country, a more united country where our citizens can leave inequality behind and live a happier life.”

She also said that they spoke about a possible papal trip to Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay in 2016. However, they did not set a concrete date.

At the end of the meeting, they exchanged gifts. The president gave Pope Francis an ornate rosary and a book about churches in Chile. The Pope gave her a Saint Martin medallion in return, which is his customary gift for world leaders. He also gave her a copy of Evangelii Gaudium.

Pope Francis asked her to pray for him, and the meeting ended with both of them smiling.


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