Leonardo DiCaprio discusses climate change with Pope Francis

The halls of the Vatican were graced by another Leonardo on Thursday – and it wasn’t Da Vinci! Oscar nominated-actor Leonardo DiCaprio paid a visit to Vatican City where he met privately with Pope Francis.

The 41-year-old environmental activist and the Pope met for 15-minutes at the Apostolic Palace to discuss the importance of climate change. During their meeting, the pair focused on how they can work together to address the need for action to stop the effects of climate change on the world. It was also an opportunity for the leading environmental voices to discuss ways to motivate people around the globe to commit to their moral responsibilities to the planet.

Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP

The Golden Globe-winning actor gifted His Holiness with an art book featuring works by Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch. Leo then showed him a reproduction of Bosch's triptych art piece, "Garden of Earthly Delights," which hung over the movie star's crib as a young boy. The panels of the artwork depict the creation of the world with Adam and Eve, a lively landscape and hell.

Leo told the Pope, "As a child I didn't quite understand what it all meant, but through my child's eyes it represented a planet, the utopia we had been given, the overpopulation, excesses, and the third panel we see a blackened sky that represents so much to me of what's going in in the environment."

The environment is an important topic for both the pontiff and The Revenant star. Last September while addressing the United Nations, Pope Francis said, "A selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and the disadvantaged."

He added, "Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity."

Following his audience with Pope Francis, Leo "kissed the pope’s ring and, in Italian, thanked the Holy Father for meeting with him." The actor was accompanied by his father George DiCaprio for the private meeting along with the global fundraising chair for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Milutin Gatsby.

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