British Prime Minister To Meet Pope Francis
By Mei Manuel, February 09, 2017 19:02 PM
On Tuesday, Christian Today reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May is planning to meet Pope Francis in the next coming weeks.
The Prime Minister is likely to discuss a range of issues with the Pope in Rome, including human trafficking.
No date has yet been set for the meeting. But according to well placed sources, it will be "sooner rather than later".
May, an Anglican, enjoys relatively close relations with the Catholic Church.
She attended a Vatican conference on human trafficking in May 2014, when she was Home Secretary, with Cardinal Vincent Nichols. May met the Pope on that occasion and they are said to have had a "warm" discussion.
Cardinal Nichols wrote to her when she became prime minister in July last year, saying: "I thank you for the remarkable work you have accomplished for the victims of human trafficking...demonstrated through your presence at its first meeting in Rome. This is a clear indication...of your determination to use high political office for the protection of some of the world's most vulnerable people..."
The following month, May wrote an article in the Sunday Telegraph emphasising that tackling modern slavery was a key priority of her premiership.
Asked about the planned visit, Downing Street neither confirmed nor denied it, telling Christian Today: "If that were true, it would be confirmed closer to the date."
Last year, May appointed a special adviser on faith, Jonathan Hellewell, to work in Downing Street.
David Cameron, May's predecessor as prime minister, did not meet with Pope Francis, who was elected on March 13, 2013.
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