.- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was received by Pope Benedict this morning for a meeting in which the two discussed the world financial crisis, the importance of remembering the poor and the conflicts in the Middle East.
The 35-minute meeting between the two leaders covered a lot of ground as they conversed about the "economic crisis and the duty to pursue initiatives benefiting the less-developed countries, projects of human promotion, respect for the environment and sustainable development."
A press release from the Vatican said that "hope was expressed for a renewed commitment on the part of the international community in settling ongoing conflicts, particularly in the Middle East."
"Finally, several bilateral themes were brought up, of interest above all for the Catholic community in the United Kingdom," the Holy See said.
The Times Online reports that Gordon Brown also invited the Pope to visit the U.K., but that hours later Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said that no visit is being planned.