Palestinian President Visits Benedict XVI
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI and the president
of the Palestinian Authority discussed difficulties which Catholics face
in the latter's territories and the commitment to relaunch the peace process
The Pope and President Mahmoud Abbas met briefly today in the Vatican and
spoke in English, without interpreters.
The Vatican report of the meeting said: "In the course of the cordial discussions,
attention turned to the situation in the Middle East.
"Particular appreciation was expressed for the commitment -- thanks also
to the help of the international community -- to relaunch the peace process
between Israelis and Palestinians.
"Talks also dwelt upon the internal Palestinian situation with reference,
among other things, to the difficulties faced by Catholics, and the value
of their contribution to that society."
After Abbas' meeting with the Holy Father, he met with Cardinal Tarcisio
Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary
for relations with states.
This was Abbas' second visit to Benedict XVI. The first one was in the Vatican
on Dec. 3, 2005, during which the president invited the Pope to visit the