.- Speaking to the Spanish daily “El Mundo,” Spain’s ambassador to the Holy See, Francisco Vazquez, admitted that the government of President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero sought to manipulate comments by Pope Benedict in order to promote his controversial “peace process” with the Basque separatist group ETA.
Vazquez denied that the Pontiff had intervened in negotiations with ETA and he said it was an “error” to manipulate the Pope’s comments, “and that was attempted,” he admitted. “The Pope simply prayed that the peace process in Spain would move ahead. There has been no Vatican intervention in the process, nor will there be,” he stressed.
Several weeks ago, the Spanish daily “El Pais,” the official government newspaper, made up a story that Pope Benedict XVI was supporting negotiations which the Spanish government initiated with ETA.
The story triggered a letter of clarification from the Bishops’ Conference of Spain which stated, “Made-up information such as this lacks all objectivity and, therefore, is entirely untrustworthy.”