President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday met with Pope Francis and the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, in Rome.
Christian pilgrims from Anambra, Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory, were part of the President’s delegation to the Vatican City but they remained at the courtyard while the papal audience lasted.
The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy-Opara, who was part of the President’s delegation, told journalists that Jonathan used the opportunity of the papal audience to explain Nigeria’s position on same-sex marriage to the Pope.
Jonathan had on January 7, signed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 into law despite opposition from some Western countries.
Kennedy-Opara also said the Pope commended the President for the efforts being made by the Federal Government to tackle the mirage of challenges facing the country.
The Pope was also said to have rendered special prayers against the current insecurity being witnessed in parts of the country while bilateral talks on education, health and others issues were said to have been discussed.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Dr. Francis Okeke, also told journalists that Jonathan’s visit was an attempt to re-establish contact with the Holy See authorities because they have an important part to play in Nigeria’s affairs.