Friday, May 20, 2011

Tension between Vatican and German Chancellor prior to Papal Visit to Germany


Four months before the visit to Germany by Pope Benedict XVI. there is a clear disagreement between the Chancellery and the Vatican about the location of the planned face to face meeting between Chancellor Merkel and the Pope.

A meeting in the chancellor's office has been rejected by the Vatican, reports the "Rheinische Post" (Friday edition), citing a government sources. A role will have been played by Merkel's criticism during a press conference in 2009 at the government headquarters of the attitude of the pope to the Holocaust-deniers Bishop Richard Williamson and her invitation to the head of the Catholic Church to issue a "unambiguous" clarification. Chancellor Merkel has rejected a meeting at the Apostolic Nuncio, the Vatican Embassy in Berlin .

The government now tend to prefer the Catholic Academy as an "independent third place," the newspaper reports. A spokesman for the German Bishops' Conference said however: "We are still looking for a meeting place."

The ghost of Williamson comes back to haunt the Vatican, as he was bound to during the Papal Visit to Germany in September.
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