Leonardo DiCaprio Meets The Pope In The Vatican To Talk About…The Environment!


by Edwina Langley |
Published on

He's nominated for an Oscar and just weeks before the ceremony, he goes to visit Pope Francis in the Vatican. What might Leonardo DiCaprio wish to discuss with the His Holiness...? The environment of course!

DiCaprio, 41, was granted a private audience with the pope yesterday to discuss the issue of climate change, a problem both men are keen to draw attention to.

Kissing the pope's ring on arrival, DiCaprio said in Italian: 'Your Holiness, thank you for granting me this private audience with you.'

He then presented the pontiff with a book of paintings by 15th-century Early Netherlandish painter, Hieronymus Bosch, before opening it on the artwork: Garden of Earthly Delights.

'[This] was hanging above my crib as a young boy,' he explained in English. 'My father put it there, and as a child I didn't quite understand what it all meant. But through my child's eyes it represented our planet - the utopia that we've been given. The over-population excess.

'And in the third panel,' he continued, 'we see a blackened sky, that represents so much to me of what's going on in the environment today.'

'In the back,' DiCaprio went on, 'you have Hieronymus Bosch, painting planet earth, when many thought that the earth was still flat. So it represents to me, the promise of the future and enlightenment. And it's representational of your view, here, as well. I wanted to give you this book as a gift - and a cheque.'

Handing over an envelope, the Oscar-nominated star stood by as translators explained it was to be used for charity purposes close to the holy man's heart. In exchange, the pope presented the actor with a red leather copy of Laudato Si and The Joy of the Gospel.

As proceedings drew to a close, the pope asked DiCaprio to pray for him, adding 'don't forget'.

'I will, thank you,' DiCaprio replied.

Want to see the meeting for yourself? Check out the video below.

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