Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pope Has "Intense" Meeting With German Chancellor

2 Weeks Ahead of Papal Trip to Germany

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 28, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a 40-minute private audience, which she later described as "intense."

The meeting held in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo came two weeks before the Holy Father's apostolic trip to his native Bavaria, from Sept. 9-14.

Speaking to reporters after the audience, Merkel said that the two "had an intense conversation on world politics, especially on the situation in the Middle East and on what the international community is doing with Iran."

One key topic was the development of the present process of European integration and of the continent's identity, she said.

"I believe a European identity is needed, in the form of a Constitutional Treaty and, from my point of view, it should be connected to Christianity and God, as Christianity has forged Europe in a decisive way," she added, as reported by Vatican Radio.


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