.- During his meeting with United States Vice President Dick Cheney, Pope John Paul II praised American fundamental values, and asked the US to foster international cooperation. Cheney, his wife and his staff were welcomed to the Vatican at 11 this morning by Pope John Paul II.
Cheney presented the Pope with a crystal dove and delivered greetings from President George W. Bush.
In response, the Pontiff said he was pleased “to welcome you and your family to the Vatican and to receive the cordial greetings which you bring from President Bush.”
“The American people have always cherished the fundamental values of freedom, justice and equality. In a world marked by conflict, injustice and division, the human family needs to foster these values in its search for unity, peace and respect for the dignity of all,” the Pope added.
“I encourage you and your fellow citizens,” he continued,“ to work, at home and abroad, for the growth of international cooperation and solidarity in the service of that peace which is the deepest aspiration of all men and women.”
“Upon you and all the American people I cordially invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.”
Following the meeting, the Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls revealed that during the course of the private conversations hold by Cheney with both the holy Father and Cardinal Sodano, “there was an exchange of opinions on the international situation, with special attention to the peace process in the Middle East and to developments in the situation in Iraq.”
“There was also an examination of the moral and religious problems that touch upon the life of States, especially relative to the defense and promotion of life, the family, solidarity and religious freedom,” Navarro-Valls concluded.