THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Whether you love the man, or hate him, you have to give credit where credit is due. There is one promise President George W. Bush has kept without wavering. He has defended the unborn by opposing abortion and embryonic stem-cell research. For that, the pope honored him...
(AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI personally thanked US President George W. Bush on Friday for his defence of "fundamental moral values".
The pontiff expressed his gratitude "for the warm and exceptional welcome he had received in the United States of America and at the White House during his visit there in April, and for the president's commitment in defence of fundamental moral values".
Details of Benedict's meeting with Bush were included in a statement released by the Vatican after the meeting on Friday morning.
The pontiff greeted Bush, who was accompanied by his wife Laura and by Mary Ann Glendon, the US Ambassador to the Holy See, at the Medieval St. John's Tower located in the Vatican Gardens.
During the meeting, Bush and Benedict discussed issues of international politics, and relations between the US, Europe, and the Middle East.
Peace efforts in the Middle East as well as globalisation and the food crisis were also discussed.
The Pope and the president exchanged gifts before strolling around the Vatican Gardens where the choir of the Sistine Chapel sang hymns.
"What an honour, what an honour," was Bush's comment when he was received by Benedict in the Vatican gardens.
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