President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has thanked Pope Francis and the Catholic Church for its commitment to peace and reconciliation, as well as the Church’s contribution in the fields of social welfare and education in Liberia.According to a dispatch from the Vatican in Rome, Italy, the Liberian leader made the comments during a meeting with the Holy Father at his private library in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City on Saturday, April 5.Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, in which capacity he is Bishop of Rome and absolute Sovereign of the Vatican City State.During the cordial discussion, both the President and the Pontiff discussed the cordial relations between Liberia and the Holy See and expressed satisfaction about the positive progress made in strengthening Liberia’s democratic institutions.President Sirleaf, particularly highlighted Government’s efforts for peace and reconciliation; which he encouraged. She praised the Church for its immense contribution in the fields of social welfare and education.The Liberian leader urged Pope Francis to pray for the country in order to have a sense of holiness, reconciliation, peace and that all Liberians can love one another. She also asked for the Pontiff’s prayers for courage of tolerance.They later exchanged views on current regional and international issues, with particular reference on trouble spots around the world.Later, President Sirleaf met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the Secretary for Relations with States, Dominique Mamberti.During the meeting, President Sirleaf extended thanks and appreciation to the Holy See for its support to Liberia over time especially during the years of the country’s civil war. They discussed how relations can be strengthened, especially with support to social welfare, health and educational institutions.“I think for us, this is more or less a one time opportunity. I found the Pope very affable,” President Sirleaf said following the meeting, adding that she found him to be a very humble man. President Sirleaf is the first Liberian President to visit a Pope at the Vatican.President Sirleaf was later taken on a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica within the Vatican City, the largest church in the world and one of the holiest Catholic sites.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
SAINTS are back up to third after a comfortable 46-12 win over Huddersfield Giants.A five-try first half blitz was orchestrated by Lance Hohaia, Jonny Lomax and Josh Perry, and backed up with three more in the second half.The visitors showed periods of what made them so red-hot at the beginning of the season – but it wasn’t enough as Saints were too tenacious in defence to continue their sparkling run of form.The home side led 28-12 at half time after running in five tries and looking in total control.Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax and Francis Meli put the home side on the front foot before Keith Mason replied.But further tries from Lance Hohaia and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook echoed Saints domination of first 40 minutes.The Giants closed the door In the second half but Saints broke the stalemate with further tries from Anthony Laffranchi and James Roby.Paul Wellens then capped off a good performance late on.Saints made one change from the side that beat Catalans – Mark Flanagan coming in for the suspended Tony Puletua whilst the Huddersfield team saw a number of changes from the side that were humbled by Wakefield.Both sides played out their sets well in the opening five minutes before Lance Hohaia unlocked the defence.He sidestepped through the rearguard and the ball was sent right for Tommy Makinson to sneak over.Less than a minute later Jonny Lomax looked to have been taken out as he chased a ball, but the video referee correctly ruled a knock on after the ball bounced in the in-goal area.He wasn’t to be denied on 14 minutes though, dashing through the defence to increase the lead – Makinson converting.Saints next try came with thanks to a little bit of class from Wellens and Perry.Lomax sent up a high ball, Wellens caught it under pressure, offloaded to the big Australian prop who sent a great long pass out to Francis Meli for his 14th of the season.But Keith Mason replied within seconds after Danny Brough worked a move from the scrum.Hohaia reset the advantage immediately – converted by Makinson – to give Saints a 22-6 lead after 25 minutes.And Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was next on the score sheet with a superb bulldozing run.But with less than ten minutes to go Scott Grix pulled one back to punish poor kick defence from Saints.Saints lead 28-12 at the break and were good value for that – but it took 20 minutes before they scored again.They knocked at the door a couple of times and finally Anthony Laffranchi flew over.James Roby added another with 15 minutes to go and Wellens was too strong to get his 17th of the season as the match entered its final stages.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Makinson, Lomax, Meli, Hohaia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Laffranchi, Roby, WellensGoals: Makinson (7 from 8)Giants:Tries: Mason, GrixGoals: Brough (2 from 2)Penalties:Saints: 8Giants: 2HT: 28-12FT: 46-12REF: James ChildATT: 14070Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andy Dixon.Giants:29. Greg Eden; 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 2. Michael Lawrence, 4. Lee Gilmour, 20. Luke George; 1. Scott Grix, 7. Danny Brough; 8. Eorl Crabtree, 9. Luke Robinson, 10. Keith Mason, 36. Brett Ferres, 18. Jason Chan, 12. David Fa’alogo.Subs: 13. David Faiumu, 15. Larne Patrick, 19. Tommy Lee, 35. Scott Moore.