Pope Francis met actor and fellow environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio in a private audience on Thursday, the Vatican said in a statement.
The Oscar-nominated actor gave Francis a book of art from the Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch and at the end of the audience, kissed the Pope’s ring, and thanked him in Italian for their meeting, Vatican Radio reported.
Francis gave DiCaprio copies of his environmental encyclical Laudato Si (Praise Be) and his earlier teaching letter on faith, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith).
Laudato Si has been welcomed by environmental activists for its denunciation of the world’s fossil fuel-based economy and demand for greener energy sources.
DiCaprio addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this month, where he urged business leaders to do more to fight global warming and announced his charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation would donate 15 million dollars to environmental projects.
The 41-year-old actor is currently promoting his latest film The Revenant, an epic western about a group of trappers in Dakota, which has received 12 Oscar nominations.
DiCaprio was raised as a Catholic in California, but has no religion, although he has expressed an interest in Buddhism and says he is not an atheist.