Sunday, June 01, 2008

Pope blows off seven world leaders so he can blow off Ahmadinejad

Pope Benedict refused meetings with several heads of state so that he could blow off Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without seeming to blow him off.
Benedict XVI has cancelled meetings with seven world leaders to avoid an encounter with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

Mr Ahmadinejad is one of 40 heads of state arriving in Rome on Tuesday for a vital United Nations summit on the world’s food crisis.

[ ... ]

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina, President Evo Morales of Bolivia and several African leaders also asked for a papal meeting.

The Vatican briefly considered a single audience for all the heads of state.

However, it eventually decided to refuse all the requests in order to avoid any potential embarrassment. It did not comment further on the decision.
Good move. That Pope Benedict refused meetings with heads of state he clearly would have otherwise met with sends a more clear message, I think, than just refusing Ahamadinejad alone.

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