Vatican discusses Guantanamo closure with John Kerry

Parolin and Kerry

The Vatican's Secretary of State has discussed the continued functioning of the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, reports NCR Online.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Kerry discussed "the commitment of the United States to close the Guantanamo prison and the desire for a favourable attention of the Holy See in search of adequate humanitarian solutions to the current detainees," said Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi.

Kerry met Cardinal Parolin at the Vatican on Monday during a trip the US minister is making to Rome primarily to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Fr Lombardi SJ briefed reporters after the Vatican meeting, which the spokesman said lasted about an hour.

Other topics included in the ministers' discussions, said Fr Lombardi, were the general situation in the Middle East, talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials, the continuing crisis in Ukraine, and the Ebola epidemic.

Fr Lombardi did not expand on the contents of their discussions, saying he could only provide the topics that were discussed.

The US bishops have repeatedly called for closure of the Guantanamo detention centre, saying the widely reported uses of torture at the base violate Church teaching.

The latest opposition from the bishops to the base came in letter on December 9 from the chair of the US bishops' committee on international justice and peace, Bishop Oscar Cantú, to the State Department's special envoy for Guantanamo closure.

Photo: An earlier meeting between Cardinal Parolin and John Kerry.

FULL COVERAGE

Vatican's Parolin discusses Guantánamo prison with John Kerry (NCR)

US asks for Vatican’s support to shut Guantanamo down (Vatican Insider)

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