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it is as it was

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 31, 2005

Who takes the fall? Sandro Magister (on his blog, not in his Chiesa column) relates a testy exchange of swipes between Joaquin Navarro-Valls and Secretary of State Cardinal Sodano following the diplomatic flap consequent on the omission of Israel from the Pope's Angelus address on July 24 and the further ill-feeling generated by the release on July 28 of a sharply-worded statement by the Vatican Press Office. But the head of the Vatican Press Office denies he had anything to do with it.

Magister says the August 26 Corriere della Sera carried a story reporting that Sodano defused the situation with the Israeli ambassador by laying off the blame for the July 28 statement on Navarro-Valls. Sodano is quoted as writing: "The omission of Israel from the victims of terrorism mentioned was not deliberate but an oversight. In truth, it should have been included. The statements of Navarro-Valls were a little inappropriate."

Navarro-Valls responded in the Corriere della Sera of August 28th by saying, "I am not an enemy of Israel and if there was difficulty in the relations between Israel and the Holy See at the end of July, it was no fault of mine." Speaking of the statement of July 28 he insisted further, "I didn't write it, nor was it read by me." Navarro-Valls said he was traveling with the pope on the way back from his vacation "when this statement was issued by the Secretariate of State." (For John Allen's take on the flap -- in which his source pins the July 28 statement on the Secretariate of State -- go here.)

Magister titles his post: "Second round between Navarro-Valls and Sodano: a draw." Is there any way they could both lose?

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  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Aug. 31, 2005 5:15 PM ET USA

    Yes; if the pontiff declares the soup kitchen closed.

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