MLK's daughter, Bernice, has private audience with pope


VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s surviving daughter had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday.

The Rev. Bernice King presented the pontiff with the sixth volume of the civil rights leader's published papers, subtitled "Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948-March 1963."

A video of the meeting provided by the Vatican showed a smiling King greeting the pontiff, then speaking briefly through a translator, but no audio was provided. She tweeted after that the meeting was "#lifechanging."

Speaking later to the television outlet of Italian Bishops Conference, King called Francis "a leader and moral voice for the entire world."

"The words that the pope recalled of my father, those which resonate in his heart, of peace, non-violence, respect for the dignity of every human being, the centrality of what is human, is truly crucial today," King said, according to an Italian translation provided by the station.

The 54-year-old King is the youngest child of Martin and Coretta Scott King and the chief executive officer of the King Center in Atlanta. She was 5 years old when her father was assassinated. Her brothers, Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King are also still living, but their sister, Yolanda King, died in 2007.

King was in Italy to receive an international prize recognizing women involved in nonviolence and peace initiatives. The award was organized by the Gandhi Center in Pisa and Italian pacifist Rocco Altieri.

Events are being planned in the United States to mark next month's 50th anniversary of King's assassination. He was shot on April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

The King Center will hold six days of events. They include a cross-cultural act of kindness campaign, a peace prize award ceremony and a global bell ringing, starting at the King Center and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

DeKalb CEO to announce proposed pay raise for public safety officers
DeKalb CEO to announce proposed pay raise for public safety officers

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond is expected to propose a “significant salary increase for police officers and firefighters Monday. The proposed pay raise would also extend to sheriff’s deputies, medical examiner investigator, the marshal’s office and solicitor-general’s investigators.  A spokeswoman declined to comment...
Motorcyclist found dead after crash on DeKalb County road
Motorcyclist found dead after crash on DeKalb County road

Police are investigating after a motorcyclist was found dead Sunday night in an apparent crash in DeKalb County. DeKalb officers found Devin Eason, 21, lying near his motorcycle on River Road between River Ridge Court and Forest Downs Trace about 10 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police told Channel 2 Action News. Police said neighbors...
Man tries to hijack Houston TV news van, then steals patrol car
Man tries to hijack Houston TV news van, then steals patrol car

A vehicle crashed into a Houston television station’s news van Monday morning, and the driver attempted to hijack the crew before he stole a police cruiser, police said. >> Read more trending news  The incident involved a KPRC news van at 4:40 a.m. Police said the driver hit the van and unsuccessfully attempted to pull the driver out...
Man hits, kills 4-year-old son in driveway, officials say
Man hits, kills 4-year-old son in driveway, officials say

A 4-year-old Georgia boy was killed Sunday afternoon when his father unknowingly backed over the child in a driveway, authorities said. Lamar County sheriff’s deputies, medical personnel and Georgia State Patrol troopers were called to a home on Shady Brooke Lane, which is near Barnesville and about 65 miles south of downtown Atlanta. The boy&rsquo...
Where Stacey Abrams stands on Georgia transportation issues
Where Stacey Abrams stands on Georgia transportation issues

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, Georgia’s next governor will have some big transportation decisions to make – decisions that will affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of Georgia residents. The candidates – Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp – say more must be done to tackle traffic...
More Stories