World

Pope, Merkel discuss Ukraine, fight against poverty during 40-minute private meeting

  • Pope Francis shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/L' Osservatore Romano, Pool)

    Pope Francis shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/L' Osservatore Romano, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/L' Osservatore Romano, Pool)

    Pope Francis shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/L' Osservatore Romano, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis exchanges gifts with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Maurizio Brambatti, Pool)

    Pope Francis exchanges gifts with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Maurizio Brambatti, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed the conflict in Ukraine and the fight against poverty during a private audience, the second between the two.

The Vatican described the 40-minute private meeting Saturday as "very cordial." Merkel told reporters that the discussions were wide-ranging, including Germany's agenda for the upcoming G-7 summit.

Francis presented Merkel with a medallion depicting St. Martin giving his coat to the poor, saying it served as a reminder to world leaders that their job is "to protect their poor." Merkel responded: "We try to do our best."

Merkel gave the pope a donation to help children fleeing conflicts in the Middle East. She also presented the pontiff with a collection of music by Johann Sebastian Bach.