Sunday 16 June 2019

Angelina Jolie meets Pope Francis

Angelina Jolie met Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican
Angelina Jolie met Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican

Angelina Jolie has met with world leaders, refugees and royalty - and her latest appointment saw her granted an audience with the Pope.

The actress, director and UN special envoy added pontiff to her list, meeting Pope Francis briefly after screening her film Unbroken to some Vatican officials and ambassadors.

The Vatican said Angelina was at the Pontifical Academy for Sciences to screen the film, which tells the story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic track star whose B-24 bomber crashed in the Pacific during World War II. He and two crewmates survived on a raft for 47 days, only to be captured by the Japanese.

Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi said the film shows "positive human and spiritual values, in particular forgiveness."

Pope Francis didn't watch the film, but exchanged a few words with Angelina afterwards when she was brought up to the Apostolic Palace - along with two of her children, her brother and a cast member.

The meeting was arranged by the Argentine head of the pontifical academy, Monsignor Marcello Sanchez Sorondo, who is a good friend of the Pope's.

Francis was just wrapping up a formal audience with a delegation of visiting Yazidis, and stopped in the gold brocaded Throne Room - where he typically receives visiting heads of state - to meet with Angelina and her crew.

Vatican photos of the encounter show Angelina, dressed in a demure black suit - as papal protocol requires - gently clasping Francis' hands and smiling.

Lombardi stressed that the meeting didn't constitute a formal audience per se, but rather a brief and cordial greeting in which the Pope paid particular attention to Angelina and the children, giving them Vatican souvenirs.

"It all lasted just a few minutes, even though it was naturally very significant for those present," he said.

Press Association

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