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Vatican accuses Secretary of State of exploiting Pope Francis

Vatican accuses Secretary of State of exploiting Pope Francis

The Vatican has accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of seeking to exploit the Pope in order to benefit the re-election of Donald Trump.

The Guardian:

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, spoke at a conference on religious freedom on Wednesday organised by the US embassy to the Holy See during his visit to Italy.

When the Italian news agency Ansa asked Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s secretary for relations with states, if the US unilaterally organising the event amounted to exploitation of the pope in the run-up to the elections, he replied: “Yes, that is precisely why the pope will not meet American secretary of state Mike Pompeo.”

Pope Francis reportedly declined to meet Pompeo during his visit this week, citing the closeness of the US election.

BBC:

The Vatican accused Mr Pompeo of trying to use that issue to attract voters in November’s US presidential election.
In an article earlier this month, Mr Pompeo said the Catholic Church was risking its “moral authority” by renewing an agreement with China regarding the appointment of bishops.
Donald Trump receives support from conservative religious movements, including conservative Catholic voters, some of whom think Pope Francis is too liberal.
Pope Francis refused to meet with Mike Pompeo so as not to boost Trump
Part of the problem lies with Pompeo’s decision to act as a Trump campaign surrogate in his official capacity.
While on a weeklong trip to Europe, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo planned to sit down with Pope Francis during a visit to the Vatican. But the Catholic leader refused the photo ops and handshakes with America’s top diplomat out of one major concern: That he’d be a pawn in Trump’s reelection efforts.
“Yes, that is precisely why the pope will not meet American secretary of state Mike Pompeo,” Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s secretary for relations with states, told Italian news agency Ansa on Wednesday.
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