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French president visits pope

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French president visits pope


The French president has visited Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Francois Hollande has visited Rome several times since his election, but this was his first meeting with the pontiff.

Although commentators have been quick to suggest that subjects to be discussed during the private audience might include sexual fidelity, the French leader did not refer to his private life at the subsequent press conference.

He said: “I confirmed to Pope Francis that France defends religious freedom everywhere, because France is the home of human rights, which means freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom of conviction and religious freedom.”

The visit has given rise to speculation that President Hollande is reaching out to disaffected Catholic voters in France who disagree with his policies on same-sex marriage, abortion and assisted suicide.

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