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Rome Reports

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Lula Da Silva and Pope Francis discuss social inequality, economy and environmental issues

Pope Francis met with the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Casa Santa Marta. It was a very low-profile meeting which lasted about an hour.

The former president said they discussed various topics, focusing especially on social inequality. He said he congratulated the pope for having convoked “The Economy of Francesco,” which will take place in Assisi in March.

Former president of Brazil
“He has called millions of young people to discuss the world's new economy. I find the pope's decision reassuring, as he touched on a topic that is crucial for the future of workers around the world.”

He said he and Pope Francis discussed the importance of having the youth reflect on the challenges of a globalized economy.

Former president of Brazil
“At 83 years old, he has the potential to make a lasting impact on society. He can motivate the youth to discuss issues related to the global economy. I think that's necessary. I think that should be used as an example.”

During the press conference hours after the meeting, Lula decided not to comment on political topics nor on the status of his legal proceedings. However, he did say he had the opportunity to read Pope Francis' new exhortation.

Former president of Brazil
“I read the pope's letter on the Amazon synod, but I didn't come here to talk about the Amazon in particular. I came to talk about environmental issues as a whole.”

Lula, who spent 580 days in prison, is currently under provisional freedom. He was allowed to travel to Rome after Brazilian justices agreed to postpone his trial for corruption.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Javier Romero
Translation: Claudia Torres