Pope meeting thrills Roehampton University graduate

A true honour: Dr Bernadette Porter with Pope Francis

A true honour: Dr Bernadette Porter with Pope Francis

First published in News Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter covering Wandsworth

A member of Roehampton alumni got to meet Pope Francis during a small conference at the Vatican.

Dr Bernadette Porter trained as a teacher at Digby Stuart, now part of the University of Roehampton, in the late 1960s and subsequently became rector and chief executive of the university.

She met Pope Francis as part of a very small group of people during a conference in the Vatican on June 18.

They debated how Catholics working in finance and investment can use their funds to support poor people.

During a private meeting at the event, Dr Porter was one of a small number able to shake hands with the Pope and speak to him directly.

She said: "He spoke earnestly, and often gave his personal views as well as speaking from a text, about how he really desired a church that lives simply and is always on the side of the poor."

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