BY Stephen Edwardson | January 16 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


US defence secretary meets Pope Benedict XVI

Leon Panetta says Holy Father thanked him for service to peace during their general audience meeting

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta met Pope Benedict XVI today after the Pope’s weekly general audience at the Vatican this morning.

Mr Panetta who sat in the front row at the general audience that was attended by around 1000 people at the Vatican auditorium.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke kindly to Mr Panetta where he was quick to praise his efforts for peace around the world and he also said ‘thank you for helping to protect the world.’ Mr Panetta asked for the Pontiff to pray for him.

Mr Panetta, a devout Catholic who attends Mass every Sunday, was completely humbled and honoured to meet the Pope. He was travelling to Europe for a weeklong meeting with defence ministers to discuss the on going conflicts in Afghanistan and Mali and the problems surrounding these current nations in turmoil.

The trip is expected to be Mr Panetta’s last as US defence decretary before he steps down from his role with the government. While on this trip, he issued a statement that stated that the US military would not be getting involved in the recent conflict in Mali.


Pic: Pope Benedict XVI greets US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta during today’s general audience at the Vatican today


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