Nicky and Pippa welcomed at Vatican

    Saturday, 5 November 2011: 3.15pm

    HTB Vicar Nicky Gumbel and his wife Pippa visited Vatican City in Rome last week where they met leaders of the Roman Catholic Church to discuss the Alpha course.

    Accompanied by a team from Alpha for Catholics, they had a meeting with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, one of the most senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church.

    Cardinal Ouellet, who first met Nicky in Canada six years ago and recalled the meeting, expressed interest in the growth of Alpha in Latin America and asked many questions about the course.

    Nicky and Pippa had dinner with Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, Secretary for the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation, who visited Holy Trinity Brompton in June when he attended Alpha's International Week.

    They also met Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who expressed interest in the way Alpha was promoted among young people using social media.

    The team was headed by Kitty Kay-Shuttleworth, head of Alpha for Catholics, who was joined by Florence de Leyritz, head of Alpha France; Fr Salvador Valadez Fuentes, of Mexico; and Fr James Mallon, of Canada.