His Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel KBE KSTJ DL, and the Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC, were received in a Private Audience by His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome.
During the discussion with His Holiness, His Excellency explained how humbled he had been in his time as Governor, by the respect and harmony in which different religious communities live in Gibraltar. His Excellency highlighted that this epitomised His Majesty The King's recent statement and wish for peoples to live within a community of communities as a reflection of successful multiculturalism.
The Chief Minister emphasised how proud all Gibraltarians are of the interfaith relationships Gibraltar can boast of.
His Holiness said that the harmony and respect enjoyed in Gibraltar must be conserved and preserved. His Holiness emphasised that this was to be treasured. He agreed that his words in this respect could be quoted.
His Holiness, His Excellency and the Chief Minister enjoyed a half hour discussion on World affairs and matters related to Gibraltar.
His Excellency presented His Holiness with a gift of a facsimile of a document from the Garrison Library and the biography of Bishop Rapallo, "First and Last".
His Holiness gave His Excellency a model of an olive branch, a copy of his encyclicals and a personally signed copy of his Message for Peace.
His Holiness, additionally, presented all those in the delegation with his personal medal.
After the meeting with His Holiness, the Governor and the Chief Minister were received by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. A further, wide ranging, discussion ensued on World affairs.
The Governor was accompanied by his ADC, Major Dominic Collado, ED RG.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Principal Private Secretary, Peter Canessa.