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Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Should the Pope receive the Dalai Lama?

Pope Benedict XVI has declined to meet the Dalai Lama during the latter's visit to Italy. Jan Turnau criticises the Vatican's position: "The Pope is facing a dilemma: either he shows hospitality to the Dalai Lama and abandons the Chinese Catholics to the wrath of the government or he plays up to the totalitarian regime, for you don't provoke a lion when he has sheep beside him. But Benedict XVI should nonetheless receive the Buddhist, who is a great man not only by virtue of his position. He should observe the principle Pope John Paul II upheld in the Vatican: making a statement is more important than diplomacy. By doing so he would show that inter-religious dialogue is a Catholic priority and that non-Catholics are just as important to the Pope as his own flock - or even more so. This would be a great ecumenical gesture."

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