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News > Latin America

Unhappy Pope Has 'Cold Meeting’ with Argentina's Macri

  • Pope Francis meets Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at the Vatican, February 27, 2016.

    Pope Francis meets Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at the Vatican, February 27, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 February 2016

It appears Pope Francis does not have fond memories of President Maurico Macri, who he knew as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Pope Francis and Argentine President Mauricio Macri met privately for 20 minutes on Saturday at the Vatican, holding what the international press is describing as a “cold meeting," a description supported by photographic evidence.

It was the first encounter between the two since Macri was elected president of Argentina last since, and since Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church.

However, both know each other very well, as prior to becoming pontiff Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires when Macri was that city's mayor.

In 2009, the two had a falling out when Macri decided not to appeal a court decision allow a gay couple to obtain a marriage license.

OPINION: Mauricio Macri: A Rather Authoritarian Beginning

Macri spoke briefly to the press, describing the Saturday meeting as “a contact between two old friends." He said they both agreed on the urgency need to work for unity in Argentina.

The conservative president received a less-than-friendly greeting when he arrived in Rome, as dozens of people gathered outside the hotel where he was staying to protest. 

RELATED: 6 Most Outrageous Quotes by Argentine President Mauricio Macri

Amid banging drums and dancing, the demonstrators held banners that read, "Homeland yes, Vultures, no," a reference to Argentina's battle with international creditors over its defaulted debt.

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