Vatican, December 9 (TASR) – Meeting the Pope leaves a big impression on a person, he radiates great energy and charisma, said Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) following his audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday, which was extended from the planned 15 to almost 40 minutes.
“I can only immensely appreciate it if I created enough of an impression on the Holy Father for him to devote so much of his precious time to me. This was a great honour for me today,” said the premier.
“We didn’t engage in any diplomatic phrases in our conversation at all. We spoke in very down-to-earth terms, openly about various things. I’m very pleased that we touched on the need to cultivate inter-generational solidarity at this time so that the young will help the old and vice-versa …. So that we don’t resign as publicly active people. We mustn’t follow moods alone, adapting ourselves to the mood in society; sometimes there’s a need to tell society things that it doesn’t want to hear. We shouldn’t only care about our own popularity but defend values and traditions,” said the premier.
Pellegrini assessed the meeting with the Pope as very enriching. “And I’m delighted that at the end he greeted all people living in Slovakia very sincerely, stating that he keeps them in his thoughts. He much appreciates how we’re doing our best to maintain Christian values and traditions,” stated Pellegrini, who also invited the Pope to Slovakia.
“I told him that Slovaks would very much like to see another Apostolic visit by the Holy Father to Slovakia,” he said, adding that the Pope didn’t say whether he’ll take up the offer. However, Pope Francis did say that he likes going to small countries, thereby showing that they are important to him.