VATICAN CITY, DECEMBER 5, 2014 (CISA) – Pope Francis on Thursday December 2, met Armando Guebuza, President of Mozambique in private audience at the Vatican.
The meeting focused on areas of common interest and on the contribution of the Catholic Church in the development of Mozambique, reported Vatican Radio.
In regards to the contribution of the Church to development, the private audience involved discussions on Catholic Church involvement in healthcare and education, as well as the important role played by the Catholic Church in the promotion of peace and national reconciliation in the Southern African Nation.
According to the Vatican, regional challenges and issues such as disarmament and fight against poverty and social inequality were also discussed.
At the end of the meeting, the President gave the Pope an oil painting by local artist Andre Macie that depicted an African mother with a baby in arms entitled: “Gracas mae” [Thank you, Mother].
For his part, the pontiff gave the President a book containing his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” written in Portuguese.” He also gave him a medal of Saint Martin of Tours and explained the famous event when the Saint cut his Roman military cape to share it with a beggar.
While in Rome President Armando was scheduled to visit the Trastevere-based Communità di S. Egideo, the Catholic charity which brokered the Rome General Peace Accord in October 1992, ending a 30–year civil war in Mozambique enabling the country to become a democracy.
The agreement between the Frelimo government and the Renamo rebels put an end to the 16-year conflict in which around one million people died between 1977 and 1992.
The peace negotiations were brokered by a team of four mediators: two members of S. Egidio – including the organisation’s founder and former Italian minister for international cooperation Andrea Riccardi; a bishop, and an Italian government representative.