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Bolivian President Morales meets Pope, offers another unconventional gift

April 15, 2016

Pope Francis met on April 15 with Bolivian President Eva Morales, who was in Rome to participate in a conference on economic issues sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.

A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the Pope had spoken with Morales about social conditions in Bolivia, Church-state relations, and international concerns.

Morales-- who had caused controversy in 2015 when he presented Pope Francis with a crucifix formed as the hammer-and-sickle symbol of Communism-- once again offered the Pope a very unconventional gift: a book about the health benefits of coca leaves. Coca leaves are used as the basis for producing cocaine. 

 
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