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That’s evidently another little bombshell contained in the documents, according to the Guardian:
The British ambassador to the Vatican warned that Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to Anglican opponents of female priests to convert en masse to Catholicism was so inflammatory that it might lead to discrimination and even violence against Catholics in Britain, according to a secret US diplomatic cable.
Talking to an American diplomat after the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, met the pope in November 2009, Francis Campbell said the surprise Vatican move had placed Williams “in an impossible situation” and “Anglican-Vatican relations were facing their worst crisis in 150 years as a result of the pope’s decision”.
Campbell’s strikingly candid comments are documented in one of a series of confidential dispatches from Washington’s Vatican embassy released by WikiLeaks. Others reveal that:
• US diplomats believed the pope was instrumental in securing the release of 15 British sailors captured and held by Iran in 2007.
• The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating abuse of children by priests and was angered when they were summoned from Rome.
• The pope was responsible for the Vatican’s resistance to Turkey joining the EU and wanted a reference to Europe’s “Christian roots” included in the EU constitution.
The revelations come after 12 days of cable releases by WikiLeaks that have dominated headlines around the world and seen the whistleblowers’ website and its founder, Julian Assange, vilified by some US politicians and extolled by others – including free speech advocates and the Kremlin. The Guardian is one of five international news organisations which had exclusive access to the cables.
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