Jorge Bergoglio, the leader of Roman Catholicism, met on Saturday with Mormon leader Russell Nelson and Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The two discussed their “mutual concerns” about various societal issues, and exchanged gifts, which included Bergoglio’s writings on the Islamic religion. Some opine that the meeting is another example of the Vatican’s goal to forge a one world religion.
Nelson and Ballard are currently in Rome for the dedication of the new Mormon temple in the city.
“He is a wonderful, gracious man,” Nelson tweeted following the meeting. “We have much in common. The differences in doctrine are real—and they’re important—but they’re not nearly as important as the things we have in common.”He also explained in a video and press release posted to the Latter Day Saints newsroom that the three discussed their concerns about various global issues, from human suffering, to their emphasis on the family unit, to religious liberty.
“We talked about our mutual concern for the people who suffer throughout the world and [our desire] to relieve human suffering,” Nelson recalled. “We talked about the importance of religious liberty, the importance of the family, our mutual concern for the youth, the church, and the need for people to come to God and worship Him, pray to Him and have the stability that faith in Jesus Christ will bring in their lives.”
Ballard said he noted to Bergoglio that Mormons and Catholics already work together on a number of fronts.
“We explained to His Holiness that we work side by side, that we have projects with Catholic Relief Services all over the world in over 43 countries,” he outlined. “We’ve been shoulder to shoulder as partners in trying to relieve suffering and trying to help people who are struggling.”