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Pope meets Argentine president months after abortion legislation

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis met Thursday with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, months after Argentina legalized abortion regardless of a private attraction from the pontiff and opposition from the Catholic Church.

In a break with common follow, the Vatican communique about Fernandez’s go to omitted any reference to points mentioned between the president and pope. The transient assertion supplied solely a rundown of subjects Fernandez mentioned with the Vatican secretary of state and overseas minister: the pandemic, Argentina’s monetary disaster and its struggle in opposition to poverty.

The assembly happened in a aspect research off the Vatican’s auditorium moderately than within the Apostolic Palace, the place official state visits are normally held. The situation, typically used for much less formal conferences, is the place Francis obtained Queen Elizabeth II in 2014.

It’s the second time Francis and Fernandez have met and added one more wrinkle within the Argentine pope’s generally strained relationship with the governments of his native nation. He has declined to return residence since his 2013 election, associates say, as a result of he needs to keep away from getting used for political ends by the reigning authorities.

Argentina’s abortion legislation, which Fernandez firmly supported, went into impact in January. It ensures the process as much as the 14th week of being pregnant and past that in circumstances of rape or when a girl’s well being is in danger.

Fernandez, a Peronist, had campaigned on pledges to make abortion authorized and free. Argentina thus is the most important nation in Latin America to legalize elective abortion, a improvement feminist actions have hailed and that might pave the best way for comparable laws throughout the socially conservative, closely Roman Catholic area.

Francis, who has repeatedly denounced abortion as proof of at this time’s “throwaway tradition,” issued a last-minute attraction earlier than the December vote, noting in a tweet that Christ was born as an outcast, and “got here into the world as every youngster comes into the world, weak and susceptible.”

The Jesuit pope had additionally inspired opponents of the laws, writing a letter in November during which he requested: “Is it honest to eradicate a human life to resolve an issue? Is it honest to rent successful man to resolve an issue?”

Fernandez is in Italy as a part of a European tour that additionally included Portugal, Spain and France.

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