La audiencia privada que el presidente del Gobierno, Mariano Rajoy, ha mantenido con el papa Francisco en el Palacio Apostólico ha durado 24 minutos y ha convertido a Rajoy en el primer líder europeo recibido por el pontífice poco más de un mes después de la elección del sucesor de Benedicto XVI. Rajoy ha obsequiado a Francisco con una camiseta de la selección española firmada por todos los jugadores y un libro sobre imágenes de la Tierra del siglo XVI, mientras que el pontífice ha correspondido con una pluma.

En los primeros momentos de la audiencia, el presidente del Gobierno contó al papa que estuvo en el Encuentro Mundial de las Familias, que se celebró en Valencia en 2006 y que acudió con uno de sus hijos, que entonces tenía un año y ahora siete. Cuando se despidió le dijo: "Ha supuesto una gran alegría (la audiencia), estábamos necesitados de ella".

Rajoy ha acudido al encuentro acompañado de su esposa, Elvira Rodríguez, y del embajador de España ante la Santa Sede, Eduardo Gutiérrez Sáenz de Buruaga. El jefe del Ejecutivo ya había saludado a Francisco en la Misa de Inicio de Pontificado y tampoco es la primera vez que Rajoy se reúne con un papa -ya se encontró con Benedicto XVI en cuatro ocasiones-, aunque sí la primera que lo hace como presidente del Gobierno de España.

Tras el encuentro con Francisco, el presidente del Gobierno se entrevistó con el secretario de Estado Vaticano, el cardenal Tarcisio Bertone, al que también regaló una camiseta de la selección nacional de fútbol, sabiendo que el 'primer ministro' del Vaticano es un apasionado del 'calcio' (el fútbol italiano).

Asimismo, el presidente del Gobierno ha repasado con el papa los asuntos bilaterales entre ambos Estados. En este sentido, Rajoy ha mostrado la plena disposición del Ejecutivo para consolidar las relaciones de España con la Santa Sede, en el marco de los acuerdos vigentes, y para colaborar en el ámbito internacional, en especial en América Latina en temas como la paz, el desarrollo, los derechos humanos y la cohesión social.

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  • In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis, center left, celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals, inside the Sistine Chapel, at the Vatican, Thursday, March 14, 2013. As the 266th pope, Francis inherits a Catholic church in turmoil, beset by the clerical sex abuse scandal, internal divisions and dwindling numbers in parts of the world where Christianity had been strong for centuries. (AP Photo/CTV)

  • In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis, center, celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals, inside the Sistine Chapel, at the Vatican, Thursday, March 14, 2013. As the 266th pope, Francis inherits a Catholic church in turmoil, beset by the clerical sex abuse scandal, internal divisions and dwindling numbers in parts of the world where Christianity had been strong for centuries. (AP Photo/CTV)

  • In this image made from video provided by CTV, Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals inside the Sistine Chapel, at the Vatican, Thursday, March 14, 2013. As the 266th pope, Francis inherits a Catholic church in turmoil, beset by the clerical sex abuse scandal, internal divisions and dwindling numbers in parts of the world where Christianity had been strong for centuries. (AP Photo/CTV)

  • Francis

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis prays inside St. Mary Major Basilica, in Rome, Thursday, March 14, 2013. Pope Francis opened his first morning as pontiff by praying Thursday at Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • CORRECTS YEAR TO 2013 - In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis kneels in prayer in front of the icon of the Virgin Mary inside St. Mary Major Basilica, in Rome, Thursday, March 14, 2013. Pope Francis opened his first morning as pontiff by praying Thursday at Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis,center, flanked at left by Cardinal Agostino Vallino, and at right by Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, walks inside St. Mary Major Basilica, in Rome, Thursday, March 14, 2013. Pope Francis opened his first morning as pontiff by praying Thursday at Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis puts flowers on the altar inside St. Mary Major Basilica, in Rome, Thursday, March 14, 2014. Pope Francis opened his first morning as pontiff by praying Thursday at Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis looks at the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis puts on his sash from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis blesses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis watches the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Women react after hearing on the speakers at the Metropolitan Cathedral that Buenos Aires' Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was chosen as Pope in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Bergoglio is the first pope ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

  • Pope Francis puts on his sash from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • People react as Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis waves the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis delivers his blessing to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis, center in white, talks to the crowd, flanked by cardinals including Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, right, Giovanni Battista Re, second from right, and Agostino Vallini, second from left, from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Pope Francis and cardinals pray from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis was named Wednesday the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • A nun reacts after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

  • Faithful gather in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who took the name of Pope Francis, was elected on Wednesday the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis puts on his sash from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Cleric watch as Pope Francis speaks to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • A Swiss guard salutes in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope Wednesday and chose the papal name Francis, becoming first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Cardinals wait for newly elected Pope Francis to speak from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Visitors take photos of Pope Francis as he speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • A noon reacts after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Cardinals watch as Pope Francis speaks to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis speak to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Visitors take photos of Pope Francis as he speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • A faithful prays at the Toledo's Cathedral, where Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer worked as a priest in Toledo, Brazil, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. Scherer was considered a likely contender to be named pope. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis blesses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, shortly after being elected pope. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)