Zimbabwe's Mugabe, denounced by country's bishops, plans to attend Pope's inaugural Mass
CWN - March 18, 2013
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, whose authoritarian government has been denounced by his country’s Catholic bishops and ostracized by the European Union, has arrived in Rome to attend the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis.
Mugabe has been barred from the European Union nations because of the accusations against his government, which include systematic corruption, human-rights violations, and election fraud. But he is allowed to travel to Rome for religious purposes, and since Vatican City is not a member of the European Union, he can visit there.
Faced with the knotty diplomatic problem caused by Mugabe’s appearance, Vatican officials pointed out that no one had been invited to the Pope’s inaugural Mass, and all foreign dignitaries would be treated in accordance with diplomatic protocol.
Mugabe also attended the funeral of Blessed John Paul II in 2005, and his beatification in 2011.
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