France's President Francois Hollande (L) meets with Pope Francis during a private audience on January 24, 2014 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO POOL / GABRIEL BOUYS
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French President Francois Hollande met Pope Francis Friday, making a delicate visit against the backdrop of undenied allegations of infidelity, low popularity ratings and clashes with Catholics over gay marriage.Hollande and Francis held 35 minutes of private talks in the Apostolic Palace, which he now uses only for official visits after he moved into a modest apartment. Both Catholic and Protestant church leaders in France denounced Hollande's announced plan to legalize assisted suicide thus year.Hollande has not denied reports of an affair with actress Julie Gayet that have put the president's private life in the spotlight.The president, who did not take any questions from the media after his meeting with the pope, said Francis would be welcome to visit France whenever he wanted.
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