The president of The University of the Virgin Islands said he had a secret meeting with Pope Francis on Wednesday, the first time he’s had such a conversation with the pontiff.
The meeting occurred as the Vatican was embroiled in a political crisis as it faces questions over the handling of a pedophile ring that targeted young men.
The president of U.T.V., the largest private university in the Caribbean, was invited by Pope Francis to a meeting with the Pope.
The Vatican said the pope invited the UV president to the Vatican on a personal basis to discuss “the state of affairs in the Church.”
The Vatican said in a statement that U.V. President Dr. David Vásquez was invited to the meeting “on his own initiative.”
“We had a private meeting with him and we discussed the state of the Church and the Church situation,” the Vatican said.
“We also discussed the situation in the United States, especially the current controversy with regard to sexual abuse of children.”
Pope Francis is widely seen as the front-runner for the 2020 presidential election.
The pope is seen as a staunch defender of the poor and anti-abortion stances.
Vasquez said he was not aware of any discussions between the pope and the president.