Pope Francis on Monday received in audience in the Vatican the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove. Later, the Governor-General met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin accompanied by the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Gallagher.
“During the cordial discussion, the themes of migration, at both global and regional levels, and climate change, were considered,” a Vatican statement said after the meetings. “Mention was also made of the role of the Church in Australian society, and the current discussion on the protection of minors and vulnerable people, reiterating the commitment of all members of the Church in this regard.”
The two sides also reviewed the “social situation” of Australia and the “question of peace and stability in the entire region of the Pacific and of Asia.”
Australia and Commonwealth
Australia’s formal name is the Commonwealth of Australia. The Governor-General of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister of Australia.
Queen Elizabeth is the Head of the Commonwealth of Nations, often known as simply the Commonwealth, an intergovernmental organization of 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire, including Australia.
A retired senior Australian Army officer, Cosgrove is the 26th Governor-General of Australia, in office since 2014.