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Oriana Fallaci met Pope, Vatican confirms August 31, 2005

Vatican officials have confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI met with the controversial Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo on August 27.

Although the meeting was not intended to be publicized, friends of Fallaci leaked news of the writer's meeting with the Pontiff, and the Vatican verified the reports.

Fallaci has been an outspoken critic of immigration trends in Europe, saying that the demographic trend amounts to an "Islamic invasion." She currently faces charges in Italian courts for allegedly insulting the Islamic faith. Fallaci, who suffers from cancer, has said that she will not live long enough for the complaints against her to come to trial.

The Italian journalist, who refers to herself as an atheist Christian, has praised Pope Benedict for his defense of Europe's Christian patrimony. But she has also criticized the Pope for his willingness to engage in dialogue with Muslim leaders.

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