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During Vatican talks, Pope tells Macron, ‘I’m still alive’

November 29, 2021

» Continue to this story on Reuters

CWN Editor's Note: French President Emmanuel Macron met with Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace on November 26, and subsequently met with the Holy See’s Secretary of State and Secretary for Relations with States.

The parties, according to a Vatican statement, discussed “the existing good bilateral relations,” as well as environmental protection and “an exchange of views on the prospects for the forthcoming French Presidency of the European Union, as well as France’s commitment in Lebanon, the Middle East and Africa.”

Absent from the Vatican statement was any mention of the clerical abuse scandal. Last month, French Prime Minister Jean Castex met with Pope Francis amid a furor on clerical abuse and whether priests who hear of abuse in Confession are bound to report it. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, told Castex that the Church in France is “even stronger and more determined, in full collaboration with the civil authorities,” to combat sexual abuse, but always “respecting the nature, mission, and sacramental structure of the Church”—a clear reference to the dispute in France over the secrecy of the confessional.

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