Dalai Lama "sorry" he didn't meet Benedict

The Dalai Lama has expressed his disappointment at not having met the Pope during his ten day visit of Italy.

He said he is sorry the Pope had some “difficulties”, and that he misses John Paul II.

Reuters reports that most Italian politicians had shied away from meeting with the Buddhist spiritual leader as the Chinese ambassador to Italy called on them not to meet with him.

However, the Dalai Lama voiced his esteem for the head of the Catholic Church, recalling that the destination of his first visit to Europe in 1973 was Italy because it was home to the Pope despite the Vatican ruling out any meetings on this occasion.

“In the past, every time I came to Italy I met the Pope,” the Dalai Lama said.

“This time the Pope has had some difficulties. I am sorry about it,” he said.

In October 2006, Pope Benedict held a strictly private meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader. Benedict has made has made improving ties with China a goal of his pontificate.

"I have met Pope Ratzinger once. He told me how important it is to reconcile faith and reason, a wonderful thing," the Dalai Lama said.

SOURCE
Dalai Lama says sorry he can't meet Pope(Reuters, 08/12/07)

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10 Dec 2007

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