Bolivian President Evo Morales must have gotten a swelled head at home from being what this report calls a “‘model’ president figure to the Bolivian people”.

While on a European tour he had an audience with Pope Benedict last weekend and took the opportunity not only to mention some things they had in common — the Pope was “an ally in defending the environment” and the rights of immigrants, for example — but to tell Benedict that he should abolish celibacy for priests and allow women to be ordained.

This was unusual diplomacy, to say the least.

The video above notes that Morales has previously declared the Church a political opponent and has promoted a new constitution towards a secular state — despite the fact that nearly 8 million our of 10 million Bolivians consider themselves Catholics.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet