President Harada Meets with Pope Francis

Italy 2024
Two men shaking hands.
[© Vatican Media]

On May 10, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada met with Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, Rome, Italy. The two exchanged warm greetings at the start of the meeting, which lasted for 30 minutes. President Harada conveyed his hope that, in these tumultuous times, religions that seek peace can transcend their differences and work together based on a shared love for humanity. Pope Francis thanked President Harada for these sentiments.       

On behalf of the Ikeda family, President Harada then conveyed appreciation for the condolences extended by Pope Francis through Soka Gakkai Italy on the passing of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

President Harada expressed his commitment to continue working together toward human happiness and world peace, and Pope Francis voiced his concern over current global challenges, stating that war signifies defeat and must be eradicated.  

On the topic of the abolition of nuclear weapons, President Harada introduced the initiatives of the Soka Gakkai toward this end under the leadership of President Ikeda. Pope Francis voiced his strong criticism of nuclear weapons and commended these efforts.   

Following his meeting with Pope Francis, President Harada met with Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, president of the Fratelli tutti Foundation. Kimiko Nagaishi, Soka Gakkai women’s leader, and Hirotsugu Terasaki, SGI director general for Peace and Global Issues, also joined the meeting.