.- On Wednesday Pope Benedict set aside protocol and ignored security measures in order to greet a group of children gathered at the entrance of the Bethlehem Palace in Lisbon, where the Holy Father had met with artists and cultural leaders.
According to the official website for the Popeâs visit to Portugal, the incident occurred when the vehicle in which the Pontiff was riding briefly stopped and the Pope got out to greet the children.
âHe got out of the car and walked towards the children. The people went crazy and began running towards the Pope,â said Auxiliary Bishop Carlos Azevedo of Lisbon, the coordinator of the visit.
Upon returning to the Apostolic Nunciature, the Pope met with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luis Amado, and the Minister of the Presidency, Pedro Silva.
Benedict XVI gave Socrates a Rosary as a gift.
Later, Socrates remarked that the meeting showed Portugal has âexcellentâ relations with all religious confessions, and he described Benedict XVI as an âeducated and friendlyâ man.