vatican city

Pope Francis with Enrique Peña Nieto

An exploration of the Catholic Church's faith diplomacy and its impact on international relations.

The day before President Trump met with Pope Francis, Cardinal Peter Turkson juxtaposed the president’s speech in Saudi Arabia with what the Pope said in Egypt. Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “Pope Francis & Pres Trump reach out to Islam-world to exorcise it of [religious violence]. One offers peace of dialogue, the other security of arms.” [...] Yet the Ghanaian cardinal, Francis’ chief “minister” for matters of peace, suggesting that the “peace of dialogue” is the path to be preferred over the “security of arms.”

This week’s PD News focused on President Trump’s trip overseas, from the importance of Saudi Arabia to Melania Trump’s international debut as First Lady. 

Pope Francis Sunday met Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan concluding his trip in the Caucasus region. Describing the visit of the spiritual leader of the globe’s estimated 1 billion Catholics in a Muslim-majority country as “historic”, Aliyev said that it was important, both for bilateral relations between the Vatican and Azerbaijan and dialogue between civilizations. 

Pope Francis Visiting Korea, by the Republic of Korea

A look at the benefits and challenges of Vatican foreign policy. 

Sunday’s gathering of the pope, Peres and Abbas saw delegations of Rabbis (mostly Israeli) and Muslim Imams (mostly Palestinian) sitting in one section of the spacious Vatican garden while high ranking Catholic clergy sat in one long line in another side of the garden.  Facing them, at some distance, to the left and right of the pope, were Abbas and Peres – all three in stately chairs spaced almost embarrassingly well apart.

Israeli and Palestinian presidents meet in an unprecedented prayer meeting with Pope Francis on Sunday, a gesture he hopes will “re-create a desire, a possibility” of eventually re-launching the Middle East’s stalled peace process.

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