Pope meets Bush in medieval towerJune 13th, 2008 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS
Vatican City, June 13 (DPA) Pope Benedict XVI broke with normal Vatican protocol Friday to welcome US President George W. Bush for talks in a medieval tower. The pontiff stood several minutes waiting for Bush in the Vatican gardens outside the Tower of St. John - an unusual sight since normally it is guests who wait to be received by the pope.
Bush, accompanied by his wife Laura, arrived in a motorcade which made its way slowly through a tree-lined avenue after entering Vatican City.
Benedict greeted the presidential couple warmly and then posed for photographs together with them and the US Ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon.
They then entered the round-shaped tower and took an elevator to one of the upper floors where Bush and Benedict began their private talks.
The pontiff normally receives high-calibre guests in his study located in the Apostolic Palace, overlooking St. Peter’s Square, including his meeting with Bush in July 2007.
Friday’s change of setting signalled Benedict’s wish to “repay the cordiality of the welcoming he received” by Bush at the White House during the papal visit to the United States” in April.
After their talks in the Tower of St. John, Benedict and Bush were scheduled to take a stroll in the Vatican gardens, stopping at a shrine of the Madonna Mary, Jesus’ mother.