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Bill Clinton with Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican in July (CNS/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis and former United States president Bill Clinton will discuss pressing issues facing the world at the annual meeting of the Clinton Foundation’s global humanitarian effort next week, the foundation announced yesterday. Source: CNA. 

The foundation said in a press release that the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2023 meeting would open on Monday with “a special conversation between President Clinton and His Holiness Pope Francis” via remote link.

The discussion is expected to focus on “what it takes to keep going on the most pressing global challenges of our time”, the release said, including “climate change, the refugee crisis, the welfare of children, and the mission and projects of the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital”.

Bambino Gesù is a Vatican-owned paediatric hospital located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the Holy See. Pope Francis has visited the hospital several times and spoken warmly of it, calling it a “family” that offers “human witness” through its medical services.

The hospital said in its press release yesterday that representatives of the facility would also “take part” in the symposium. The hospital said it requires “great financial support” to run its medical undertakings; it said it would “bring these needs to the attention of the international audience” at the initiative meeting.

Pope Francis met Mr Clinton earlier this year at the Casa Santa Marta papal residence, though details of that meeting have not been released.

On its website, the Clinton Foundation touts its global initiative as “creating a community of doers who are taking action on the world’s most pressing challenges, together”.


Pope Francis, former President Clinton to have ‘special conversation’ at foundation meeting (By Daniel Payne, CNA)