Vatican City, 28 March 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

The cordial discussions, an expression of the existing good relations between the Holy See and Greece, focused on issues of common interest, such as, in particular, the legal status of religious communities, the role of religion in society, and ecumenical collaboration.

Attention then turned to the social consequences of the worldwide economic crisis, as well as the contribution of Greece within the European Union. Finally, concern was expressed regarding the future presence of Christians in the Middle East, in relation to political instability and the situations of conflict that affect various regions of the world.

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