Sunday, September 30, 2007

Irrelevant and Unwanted

Corriere della Sera:
Rice Denied Audience with Pope

Disagreements over foreign policy behind refusal. 

US Secretary of State requested meeting in August. Told that Benedict XVI was “on holiday”.

The latest request was made during the summer. The US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice indicated to the Vatican that she urgently needed to meet Benedict XVI. She was on her way back into the viper’s nest of the Middle East and it would have been no bad thing to meet her counterparts with the credentials of a papal audience. Ms Rice had hoped that the audience could be fixed for early August at Castelgandolfo, the papal summer residence, when Benedict XVI returned from Lorenzago in the Dolomites, but she was told the Pope was on holiday. She insisted but to no avail. Vatican diplomats were adamant and “Benedict XVI is on holiday” continued to be the official reply.

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