International College of Dentists meets with Pope Francis
ROME, Italy: Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, recently hosted a delegation of 72 members and guests of the International College of Dentists (ICD) at the Vatican. As part of the event, which also included many other organisations and attendees, representatives of the ICD’s College Centennial Committee presented the Pope with a unique, one-off commemorative book featuring its ongoing humanitarian programme in Angola and introduced the core values of the college.
In recognition of the special event, the ICD produced this exclusive publication for Pope Francis himself. It was presented to him in person by the College Centennial Committee General Chair Prof. Dov Sydney and ICD section registrar Prof. Mauro Labanca. “Creating the presentation for this occasion was certainly a unique challenge,” said 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 the ICD’s 100 years of service to those in need was very much appreciated,” he continued.
The meeting with Pope Francis taking over a year to arrange, Labanca was influential in its organisation. “The entire ICD family around the world and especially the European section, who donated funds for the Angola project, are honoured to have received this unprecedented papal acknowledgement 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,” he said.
The ICD reported that, while the delegation awaited the Pope’s arrival, the English language representative of the Vatican announced the names of dignitaries and special groups in attendance, including that of the ICD. Broadcast around the world on live television, the announcement also reached the tens of thousands of people outside, through means of the Vatican speaker system.