.- Pope Benedict XVI met with President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica at the Vatican, discussing a number of issues including the task of defending human life from the moment of conception.
The May 28 discussion came as Costa Rica faces continued pressure from the Inter-American Human Rights Court to legalize in vitro fertilization.
The cordial talk between the two leaders on Monday focused on the excellent relationship between the Holy See and Costa Rica.
Both the Pope Benedict and President Chinchilla expressed their desire to strengthen relations through an accord that respects the identity of the country and the autonomy and collaboration that exists between civil and church officials.
The two also discussed the contributions made by the Church through its educational, social and charitable works in the country.
The audience took place one month after the courts in Costa Rica lifted an injunction against Radio Fides over its airing of spots defending human life and criticizing in vitro fertilization as a violation of human dignity.
At the conclusion of her meeting with the Pope, President Chinchilla met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.