Pope, Prince Charles discuss environment at Vatican

April 27th, 2009 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Princess Diana Vatican City, April 27 (DPA) Pope Benedict XVI and Britain’s Prince Charles spent 15 minutes talking about the environment and other affairs during a meeting Monday, the Vatican said.
The heir to the British throne was accompanied by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, when he was received by the German-born pontiff at the Vatican.

Charles last visited the Vatican in 2005 to attend the funeral of Benedict’s predecessor Pope John Paul II - a trip that forced the postponement of his wedding with Camilla.

Monday’s private audience lasted some 15 minutes, according to Italian news reports.

“The cordial discussions provided an opportunity for an exchange of views on certain questions of mutual interest,” a Vatican statement said.

These included “human promotion and development of peoples, environmental protection, and the importance of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue for furthering peace and justice in the world,” it said.

Charles meeting with Benedict came days after the 500th anniversary of the crowning of Henry VIII, the English king who broke with the Roman Catholic Church and established the Church of England because he wanted to divorce.

A centuries-old British law forbids Catholics from acceding to the throne or for the monarch to marry a Catholic - although this is now under review.

Charles divorced from his first wife Princess Diana, and later married Camilla who was previously married to a Roman Catholic.

Earlier Monday, Charles in a speech to Italian lawmakers said “inspired leadership” was needed to curb global warming to save the environment for future generations.

Camilla dressed in a tailored black suit, listened to her husband’s address which he delivered in the Sala della Lupa (Hall of the She-wolf), a room in the lower chamber of parliament that is reserved for appearances by dignities.

On Tuesday, Charles and Camilla are scheduled to head for Venice, where they will visit the La Fenice opera house and meet with local business leaders.

The couple’s visit to Italy has drawn criticism from some in the British media who say the Charles’ statements against harmful global warming are at odds with his environmentally unfriendly mode of transport - a private jet which during the trip will reportedly create a 53 tonne carbon footprint.

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