CWN - On the two days preceding the canonization of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, Pope Francis received in separate audiences President-elect Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador, President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland, and King Albert II of Belgium, who abdicated in 2013.
Pope Francis also received in audience Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine, who assumed office on February 27 as pro-Russian forces were beginning to take control of Crimea.
“The cordial discussions, which took place within the context of good bilateral relations between the Holy See and Ukraine, focused on the current situation; the hope was expressed that all the parties involved will collaborate constructively to re-establish political and social stability throughout the country, in accordance with international law, and to promote understanding between peoples in the region,” the Holy See Press Office said in a statement.
“Attention then turned to the specific role that churches and religious organizations, as well as all believers, are called upon to fulfill in fostering mutual respect and harmony among all components of society,” the statement added. Yatsenyuk subsequently met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Secretary for Relations with States.