http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/275796

Prime Minister Harper Meets with Pope

Posted Jul 11, 2009 by Gloria Cowdery
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his family met with Pope Benedict XVI today in the Vatican today, concluding four days of meetings in Italy for the G8 summit.
Vatican City
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, second from left, with his family, photographed during a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI, at the Vatican.
Vatican photo by Tiziana Fabi
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen, and children, Ben and Rachel met with the Pope this morning at the Vatican.
The PM and the Pope had a brief discussion in French about the G8 summit before having a more private exchange in the Apostolical palace library. At the finish of the 20-minute private meeting with the Pontiff, Prime Minister Harper introduced his family.
Later, the PM and family had an exchange of gifts. Pope Benedict received a vase made by Toronto glass blower Andrew Kuntz. In response, the Pontiff gave the Prime Minister a custom glass fountain. The pen is a replica of one of the pillars in St. Peter's Basilica.
Later today, the Prime Minister issued a press release on his meeting with the Pontiff.
”It was an honour to meet Pope Benedict and hear his perspective on a number of important issues, including human rights and an ethical response to the global economic crisis,” Harper said.
“I expressed my deep appreciation for the Holy Father's moral and humanitarian leadership as an advocate of human dignity, peace and religious liberty, and for the spiritual leadership he provides to Catholics in Canada and throughout the world.”
The release said, the Prime Minister and the pope talked about “a range of international issues”. Included with the discussion, were human rights issues and religious concerns.