The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, will meet next Saturday, October 24th, with Pope Francis in Vatican City.
As confirmed by the Secretary of State for Communication, “the pontiff and President Sánchez will review the international situation and the problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which require coordinated action and multilateral responses. They will also address bilateral issues of mutual interest.” .
It will be the first date between the President of the Executive and the Pontiff. The first vice president, Carmen Calvo, on the other hand, has been to the Vatican twice: the first, in October 2018 and the second, a year later, in October 2019.
He was elected Pontiff in March 2013 and in the seven years that have passed nor have you visited Spain yet. In fact, there has not been a visit by a pope to Spain since the summer of 2011, when his predecessor, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, was still the visible head of the Church.
In March 2019, Pope Francis expressed his desire to visit Spain, although specifying that he would do so “when there is peace”, without explaining what he meant by that expression.
Before this news, the agenda of the Prime Minister for next week already included a trip to Rome. Specifically, Sánchez will attend next Tuesday the Spanish-Italian forum, but will later return to Spain to attend the debate on the motion of censure presented by Vox.
Likewise, the fourth vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge will participate in the Forum, Teresa Ribera, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya.
The Prime Minister will travel to the Italian capital on Tuesday after presiding over the Council of Ministers in La Moncloa. At noon, Conte and Sánchez will hold a bilateral meeting at Palazzo Chigi, headquarters of the Italian government’s presidency, and after a press conference they will attend the closing of the Italy-Spain Forum.
The most recent meeting of a President of the Government of Spain with the pontiff took place on March 24, 2017, when Mariano Rajoy participated in an audience that Francis granted to European leaders. Previously, Rajoy also had a meeting with the Pope on April 15, 2013.
Sánchez’s meeting with Pope Francis was made public when precisely this Saturday the Vatican confirmed a case of coronavirus in Casa Santa Marta, the residence of Pope Francis, although the affected person has no symptoms and has already been isolated.
As reported by the spokesman for the Holy See, Matteo Bruni, the patient has temporarily left Casa Santa Marta and all the people with whom he has had direct contact have been isolated.