Borders MP and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore met Pope Benedict XVI during a UK ministerial visit to the Vatican, writes Mark Entwistle.
They discussed international issues such as international aid, human rights, poverty and climate change.
Ahead of the meeting last Wednesday, Mr Moore also met a number of cardinals and archbishops in a series of official gatherings.
They discussed the work of the British Government in delivering international aid and Mr Moore underlined its commitment to helping the world’s poorest people by becoming the first G20 country to adhere to the pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on overseas assistance.
Mr Moore said the visit stressed the many areas of common interest which exist between the United Kingdom and the Holy See, such as the global fight against poverty, overseas development and taking steps to combat climate change.
The Scottish Secretary said: “I regularly receive correspondence from my constituents on these vital issues so I was pleased to be able to discuss them with His Holiness.
“We had a very constructive exchange of views on ways we can continue to work together across social, economic and cultural issues for the wider good.”
The MP also took part in a meeting between the UK Government and the Holy See, led by Baroness Warsi and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states.
The visit marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See in 1982, and follows the successful visit by Pope Benedict to Britain in September 2010.