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Pope to meet Benedict next Saturday

Pope Francis will visit his predecessor at the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo next Saturday.

He will also meet with the Argentine president, whom he has criticised for her liberal measures.

Pope Francis will fly by helicopter on March 23 to the retreat in the hills south of Rome and will have lunch with Pope Benedict XVI before returning to the Vatican, the Holy See said in a statement today.

Pope Benedict resigned on February 28, the first pontiff in 600 years to step down. Francis was elected on Wednesday.

Francis will also meet with the Argentine president, Christina Kirchner, on the eve of his installation Mass on Tuesday, the Vatican said.

The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been an outspoken critic of Kirchner, who has imposed socially liberal measures that are anathema to the church, from gay marriage and adoption to free contraceptives for all.

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