PM Viorica Dancila was welcomed by Pope Francis on Friday, at the Vatican, occasion to thank His Sanctity for the generous attention granted to the relations with Romania and to express hope the Holy Father will pay a visit to Romania, a Government release informed on Friday.
“During the audience, it was expressed the wish to increase Romania’s presence at the Vatican by cultural, academic and religious, high level events, given that this year is a special one, the Centennial of the Romanian modern state. The Prime Minister thanked for making available the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Castle for the exhibition ‘Romanian Treasures at the Vatican’,” the release reads.
The release also informs that the close positions of Romania and the Vatican were stressed in terms of strengthening the European project and the focusing on its Christian roots, as well as the congruence of the viewpoints on the international agenda, mainly on human rights and religious freedom.
PM Viorica Dancila has invited Pope Francis to pay a visit to Romania and the Pontiff Sovereign said “I will come at the beginning of next year.”
Speaking to Antena 3 TV private broadcaster, PM Dancila said: “I have invited the Pope to come to Romania and he answered he would come early next year.”
According to the Premier, she was asked if she wants to complete the mandate as head of government. “My answer was categorically yes, I want this,” Dancila said.
According to ziare.com, PM Dancila offered several gifts to the Pope and received as present a sculpture, three books and the Pope’s message for peace. “These are gifts for the soul and they’ve touched the soul,” the Premier said.
The private audience was scheduled to last 30 minutes, but the Pope wanted to discuss more, so it lasted 45 minutes, the same source informs.
“We discussed about the fact that I am the first woman prime minister of Romania. He asked me about the way I see the challenges. His message was that there is a lot of discord in the country, kind words should replace the bad ones and more attention should be granted to the positive issues. Romania should prove the unity it once had,” PM Dancila said.
In 1999, Pope John Paul II paid a historic visit to Romania, the first one of a Pontiff Sovereign, also the first visit paid by a Pope to a country with Orthodox majority.
Italian press says Dancila’s presents consisted of onion, cucumbers and tomato seeds. The audience lasted 24 minutes
Italian press agency askanews.it, quoted by adevarul.ro, reports that PM Viorica Dancila offered Pope Francis, as presents, various seeds: onion, cucumbers and tomato. On the other hand, the Italian journalists argue that the private audience lasted 24 minutes, not 45 minutes as claimed by the Romanian Premier. They also inform that the Prime Minister was accompanied by her husband.
“Romanian Premier, Viorica Dancila, offered the Pope a set of various types of vegetable seeds, among them of the Buzau onion, two types of cucumbers, tomatoes, wild fennel. ‘An entire menu’ the Pope Francis joked,” the agency informs.