Pope Francis receives Antigua’s GG

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, on Monday received Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, at the Vatican, according to an Antigua and Barbuda government statement issued in New York.

The governor-general later met with the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the statement said.

It said 10 percent of Antiguans and Barbudans are Catholic. Once a British colony, Queen Elizabeth II remains the head of state, with the governor-general serving as her official representative.

A statement from the Holy See Press Office described the meeting as “cordial,” stating that it underlined good bilateral relations.

The Antigua and Barbuda government said this has recently been strengthened by the appointment of an ambassador accredited to the Holy See.

The talks also focused on the contribution the Catholic Church makes in the “protection and promotion of the dignity of the human person, as well as in education and social assistance, said the Antigua and Barbuda statement, calling for a “fruitful and mutual” collaboration.

The discussions also touched on several regional and global issues, with particular attention paid to migration and climate change, the statement said.

Accompanying the governor general to the “official audience” with the Pope were his wife, Lady Sandra Williams, and son; Ambassador Sir David Shoul and Lady Joan Shoul; Dr. Joseph John and family; Honorary Vice-Consul to Italy Carlo Falcone; and Ambassador Anthony Bailey and Mrs. Bailey.

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