November 22, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Benedict XVI met with Haitian President
Michael Joseph Martelly to discuss the challenges facing the Caribbean country devastated by natural disasters and poverty.
The Haitian president thanked the Pope for the humanitarian work the Church carried out following the earthquake that struck the island in January 2010, and killed over 200,000 people. Benedict XVI then called on all Catholic institutions to help rebuild the country.
Two months ago, the Pope once again renewed pleas for assistance for the small Caribbean nation, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Martelly, Haiti's president since 2011, attended the meeting with Benedict XVI with his wife and four children.
Before being elected, Martelly was a renown musician in his country. It may explain why he gave this percussion instrument with very colorful decorations. He then invited the Pope to play it, which the pontiff did without hesitation. Benedict XVI gave the executive a bronze bas-relief carved with the image of St. Peter's Square.
Following the audience with the Pope, Martelly also met the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone.