Security is tight as French President François Hollande meets Pope Francis, against a backdrop of infidelity, low popularity ratings and clashes with Catholics over gay marriage. Jillian Kitchener reports.
REPORTER: Security is beefed up as French President François Hollande meets Pope Francis Friday, hours after a small makeshift explosive went off near a French church in Rome. It's the first time Hollande has paid a visit to Pope Francis at the Vatican. And it comes at a delicate time, with undenied allegations of infidelity, low popularity ratings and clashes with Catholics over the legalization of gay marriage last year. Some Catholics in France have accused the government of paying more attention to minority Muslims and Jews. Hollande spoke to this in a press conference afterwards.
FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE: "I confirmed to Pope Francis that France defends religious freedom everywhere, because France is the country of human rights and therefore of freedom. Of freedom of conscience, of freedom of conviction, of religious freedom, and even more so in France, with more determination, with regards to all anti-religious acts which can be committed."
REPORTER: The French president refused to take questions after the press conference, but said the Pope is welcome to visit France whenever he wanted.
Note that after the expression "It's the first (second, etc.) time that ...", you need the present perfect tense: It's the first time Hollande has paid a visit to Pope Francis at the Vatican.