A ‘missed meeting’ in Rome

Russell Crowe-Pope meeting denied

The Vatican has denied reports from Hollywood that actor Russell Crowe and other cast members of the film Noah had a private audience with Pope Francis last week.

Crowe, who has been tweeting appeals to Pope Francis for the Pontiff to view Noah, reportedly told fans that during a visit to Rome on March 19, he and other actors were invited to a private audience and met with the Pope. The Hollywood press jumped on the story and reported on the ‘meeting’ despite no details of photographs emerging. Universal studios, which will distribute the film in Italy in April, insisted that the meeting was kept strictly private at the Pope’s request. Universal later stated that the Noah cast had attended the Pope’s general audience in St Peter’s Square.

The Vatican has now moved to dismiss the meeting story, with Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office stating that “the meeting has never been on the programme [of papal engagements]”.