In addition to the bonds they have forged over time because of the country’s huge Catholic population, Mexico and the Holy See have developed a respectful and constructive relationship since the restoration of diplomatic ties in 1992. Pope Francis’ visit to the National Palace reaffirms the interest of the Mexican government in strengthening the ties of cooperation and engaging in joint actions that promote the best causes of humanity.
Mexico has a direct and close relationship with the pope, as evidenced by the six visits the Head of State of Vatican City has made to Mexico. During his meeting with Pope Francis, President Peña Nieto stressed the areas of agreement between Mexico and the Holy See at the bilateral and especially multilateral level, on global issues such as climate change, nuclear disarmament, migration and sustainable development.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, or Pope Francis, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 17, 1936. He was elected pope during the Papal conclave on March 13, 2013. He is the first Pope from the Americas and the first non-European pontiff since the year 714.
During the official welcome ceremony for Pope Francis at the National Palace, President Enrique Peña Nieto said:
"It is up to governments to create the conditions that ensure the basic wellbeing of our societies, by ensuring opportunities for the development of all."
Pope Francisco remarked that:
"Mexico is a great country blessed with abundant natural resources and an enormous biodiversity that extends throughout its vast territory. Its privileged geographical location gives it prominence in America, and its indigenous, mestizo and criollo cultures give it an identity that provides it with a rich culture that is not always easy to find and especially to appreciate."
Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu accompanied President Peña Nieto during the official welcome ceremony as part of the official delegation.