President Michael D. Higgins has been hailed as a ‘wise man’ by Pope Francis after the two met at the Vatican today during Higgins’ four-day trip to Rome.
During the visit, the two discussed many topics, with climate change and Covid-19 being among them.
Following their meeting, Pope Francis issued the following statement: “Today I didn’t just meet a man, a President. I met a wise man of today. I thank God that Ireland has such a wise man at its head.”
Stating that they got through so much, Higgins stated that the meeting, which was also attended by his wife Sabina, went very well.
One of the more prominent topics discussed by the pair was climate change, as they talked about the forthcoming 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change which is due to take place in Glasgow.
Additionally, they discussed Laudato Si – Pope Francis’ second encyclical, where global warming and irresponsible development are lamented.
A second important topic that they discussed was Covid-19, in particular, the pandemic response and the use of cultural arguments in defeating rights arguments, especially the ones that are in relation to women’s bodies.
Higgins presented Pope Francis with a special ‘Fisherman’s Stick’ from Innis Mór, which was created by artist Lochlainn Cullen.
Composed of blackthorn wood, the knots are arranged in a spiral called St. Mary’s Hitch, which is designed to represent the divine trinity.
Concluding the visit, they both spoke about delivering a message of hope and friendship during a 40-minute conversation.
IMAGE – “President Michael D Higgins” by The Labour Party (CC BY-ND 2.0)