Wednesday 26th September, Pope Francis hosted a delegation of the International College of Dentists European Section in the VIP section on St Peter’s Square, Vatican City during a public audience.
Pope Francis, the leader of 1.3 billion followers of the Roman Catholic Church, hosted a delegation of seventy-two members and guests of the International College of Dentists in the VIP section. While awaiting the Pope’s arrival, the English language representative of the Vatican announced the names of dignitaries and special groups in attendance, when, without prior notice, the name of the International College of Dentists was boomed across the massive Vatican audio system to the tens of thousands in the square and simultaneously broadcast around the world on live television.
Representatives of the College Centennial Committee presented the pope with a unique commemorative book, introducing the Core Values of the College and featuring an on-going humanitarian program in Angola. In recognition of the unique event, the publication, created exclusively for Pope Francis, is and will forever remain, the only copy to ever be produced. “Creating the presentation for this occasion was certainly a unique challenge,” reflected ICD Centennial General Chair Prof. Dov Sydney.
“Fortunately, the Pope was most gracious in his praise for the College and visibly moved when seeing an example of the impact ICD projects have had on the relief of human suffering and improvement of oral health in hundreds of projects around the world, which he described as ‘a very good initiative’. His encouragement for the upcoming Centennial celebrations and ICD’s 100 years of service to those in need were very much appreciated.”
Also commenting was Section Registrar Prof. Mauro Labanca, who shepherded the year-long process of arranging the propitious meeting with the Holy Father, “The entire ICD family around the world and especially the European Section, who donated funds for the Angola project, are honored to have received this unprecedented papal acknowledgment for the work of our College. It was an amazing experience and a proud moment for all of us. I am so very grateful to the Holy See for agreeing to meet with the ICD.”