Benedict XVI met with British prime minister Gordon Brown. The two leaders discussed the global economic crisis, joint initiatives for human promotion, the environment, and sustainable development, and a commitment to settle ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
In an editorial published by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Brown wrote that it was the collective responsibility of the richest countries to keep in mind the interests and needs of the poorest. He also said it was important for a global stimulus to be truly global, and not just for the benefit of rich countries.
The prime minister also discussed the world economy with his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi in preparation for the G20 meeting of heads of state in London and the G8 meeting in Sardinia scheduled for later this year. He also spoke about the importance of working for the interests of the least fortunate and the hardest hit by the economic crisis.
British Prime Minister
There are 100 million people who have been pushed into poverty around the world as a result of this economic crisis. We are determined at the G20 and then at the G8 that the needs of that group of people who have been pushed into unemployment and poverty will uppermost in our minds.
Prime Minister Brown also invited Benedict XVI to visit the United Kingdom. A Vatican spokesperson said no trip is planned for the moment, and that the invitation is being taken with serious consideration. If the pope accepts, it would be the first papal visit to the United Kingdom since John Paul II’s trip in 1982.