Pope Francis met with French President Francois Hollande at the Vatican just three weeks after an elderly priest was brutally murdered by Islamist militants in northern France.
Archbishop Louis Raphaël I Sako, the head of the Chaldean Catholic church, called Dec. 10 for deployment of international ground forces in the region to fight the Islamic State group.
The future of the Middle East will depend on nations coming together to promote dialogue and development in the region and on local Christians staying active in society and politics, a top Vatican official said.
The international community cannot remain "inert or indifferent before the dramatic situation" unfolding in the Middle East because it has a special responsibility to "guarantee the presence of Christians and other minorities" in the region, said Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's foreign minister.
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Copies of correspondence show the papal nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, claimed diplomatic immunity in response to repeated requests for archival documentation.