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REAL CLEAR RELIGION

Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

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VATICAN IN SECRET TALKS TO BUILD CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN SAUDI ARABIA

The Vatican has been holding secret talks with Saudi Arabian authorities to build Catholic churches in Muhammad's homeland. According to one of Pope Benedict's most senior Middle East representatives. Archbishop Paul-Mounged El-Hashem the Papal Nuncio to Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Yemen and Bahrain said: "Discussions are under way to allow the construction of churches in the kingdom. We cannot forecast the outcome."

The Vatican and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations. However, Archbishop El-Hashem said that moves towards diplomatic ties began after an unprecedented visit to the Vatican last November by King Abdullah. This would involve negotiations for the “authorisation of the building of Catholic churches” in Saudi Arabia, he said.

"But, speaking to the news agency Agence France-Presse, the Lebanese prelate, the Pope's envoy in the Gulf, added: "There are around three or four million Christians in Saudi Arabia, and we hope they will have churches."

At the Vatican, the Pope's spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said: "If we manage to obtain authorisation for the construction of the first church, it will be an outcome of historic dimensions."

The opening last Friday of the
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