By: Nathaniel Ballantyne
The Holy Sea rebuffed a request for a tête-a-tête between US Secretary of State Mike PAMPEO and the holy father calling PAMPEO’s request for a meeting with the pope so close to a presidential election in the United States “highly inappropriate.”
CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN, the Vatican’s second ranking official told reporters that the Vatican turned him down because Pope Francis had « said that he does not receive political figures ahead of the elections ».
This denial came as the Trump administration is pushing Pope Francis to take a stronger position against China’s treatment of Catholics and church operations in China.
A few weeks before arriving in Rome, US Secretary of States Mike PAMPEO published a letter criticizing the Holy Sea’s agreement with China regarding church matters.
Last week PAMPEO promoted an article through a tweet which concludes that “The Vatican endangers its moral authority, should it renew the deal” with China which is about to expire. The Vatican will renew its deal with China and objected to the Trump administration attempt to derail the agreement.
The request for a meeting so close to the presidential election was the Trump administration attempt to convince conservative catholic Americans that he is on their side, especially those who do not support the church direction under Pope Francis. This was more about politics than China’s treatment of the faithful.