Catholic World News

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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