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Pope signals support of Honduran leader's reconciliation efforts

October 13, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI received President Porfirio Lobo Sosa of Honduras on October 13, and signaled support for the Central American leader’s work to bring political stability to his nation after a constitutional crisis in 2009.

Lobo won election to the presidency after the incumbent leader, Manuel Zelaya, was removed from office by a court order for having overstepped his presidential powers. After a period of turmoil in which Zelaya attempted to seize control of the government once again—with strong support from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez—Lobo has restored calm to Honduras.

In a statement released after Lobo’s meeting with the Pontiff, the Vatican noted the importance of “continuing to foment reconciliation, mutual understanding, solidarity and peace” in Honduras, as well as “the improved situation of Honduras’ international relations.”

Ironically the Pope’s meeting with Lobo came a few days after a Honduran bishop who had supported Zelaya indicated that he hopes to become a candidate in the country’s next presidential contest. Bishop Luis Santos Villeda of Santa Rosa said that he would seek the Pope’s permission for his political campaign after he resigns from pastoral duties, having reached the age of 75.

(Editor's note Due to an error in editing, the above headline originally appeared on a copy of a story that had originally been posted two days earlier, about the political ambitions of Bishop Santos. We apologize for the confusion.)


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