Cardinal Parolin Meets With John Kerry

Fr. Lombardi Says Closure of Guantanamo Bay, Middle East Discussed by Secretaries of State

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As the U.S. government contemplates how to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the Holy See has expressed its commitment to help find humanitarian solutions for its current inmates.

Vatican Radio reported that this was one of the points that Vatican press office director Father Federico Lombardi said was discussed by the Pope’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting today at the Vatican.

The U.S.’s commitment to avoid escalating tensions and violence in the Middle East as well as the commitment to promote negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were also discussed, Fr. Lombardi confirmed.

He noted that the United States expressed its desire for the Holy See’s assistance in seeking appropriate humanitarian solutions for current inmates at Guantanamo Bay.

The spokesman explained that the short time available for Monday’s discussions prevented both sides from examining other issues in depth. However, they were said to have discussed the Ebola epidemic, as well as the situation in Ukraine and its prospects. 

Also present in the meeting were U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, and two members of the State Department staff.  The Holy See was represented by three Curia officials.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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