During a visit to the Vatican, MEP and EPP Group leader Manfred Weber was given a private audience by Pope Francis. Pope Francis and the CSU party vice-chairman discussed, among other things, the war in Ukraine and reforms in the Catholic Church. “It was a great honor for me to be welcomed by the Holy Father. Of course, the further development of Europe was a subject of discussion given the terrible Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Nationalism and imperialism, which are among the causes of the Russian invasion, must not have a future. A united Europe is one of the right answers to this,” Weber said.
In addition, according to Weber, the further development of the Catholic Church has been discussed, especially the ‘Synodal Path’ in Germany, which should lead the Church into the future. “The Catholic Church must keep in touch with the modern world and still emphasize the values and fundamentals that define the Church,” stressed Weber, who is also a member of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). As a guest gift, Weber presented the Holy Father with a custom-made Easter candle from Deggendorf. It was Weber’s first private audience with the Holy Father. In addition, he met several cardinals of the Curia at the Vatican and, in the secular part of the program, held political talks with the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, Daniele Franco, and with the Mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualteri.