Pontiff Meets With Serbian President


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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2009 ( Benedict XVI met with the president of Serbia, Boris Tadic, and affirmed the positive dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in that country.

The Pope received the Serbian president in audience on Saturday, and in the meeting "the positive state of bilateral relations was highlighted," a Vatican communiqué reported.

It noted that "particular attention was given to the main regional challenges and to Serbia's journey towards full integration into the European Union."

The Pontiff underlined the Catholic Church's desire to contribute to Serbian society, and mentioned several "factors appropriate to ensuring her presence and activities therein."

After this audience, the president met with the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as well as Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

Czech Republic

That same day, the Holy Father also met with the prime minister of the Czech Republic, Jan Fischer.

They continued "conversations that had begun during His Holiness Benedict XVI's recent apostolic trip" to that country, the communiqué stated.

The "good relations" between the two states were highlighted, as well as the "mutual desire" to "continue constructive dialogue on bilateral themes concerning relations between the ecclesial and civil communities."

As well, "an exchange of opinions took place on questions concerning current international relations, in particular the coming into effect of the Treaty of Lisbon."

Following his meeting with the Pontiff, Fischer also met with Cardinal Bertone and Archbishop Mamberti.