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May 19, 2015

Follow Up, AP Correction on Pope's Disputed "Angel of Peace" Comment

ap correction pope.JPG

Following communication from CAMERA, several leading media outlets have followed up on their initial reports which unequivocally stated that Pope Francis called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "an angel of peace." Yesterday, CAMERA staff was in touch with editors at The New York Times, the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence-France Presse to ask how their reporters definitively concluded that those were the Pope's words when some Italian media outlets, such as La Stampa's Vatican Insider, reported that the Pope exhorted the Palestinian leader, "may you be an angel of peace." (Other Italian media outlets were consistent with the English reports.)

We also pointed to the statement of Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's chief spokesman, in which he told The Times of Israel that though he was in the room during the meeting, he did not know the Pope's exact words. CAMERA asked the media outlets if they had a better informed source than Father Lombardi. The Vatican has not released any transcript or official wording documenting the informal remarks, and the audio recording is not clear enough to definitively determine what was said.

Meanwhile, CAMERA posted its own analysis late in the day yesterday ("Pope Francis Remarks to Abbas Prompt Firestorm and Uncertainty"), which concluded:

In sum, much of the criticism [by bloggers and media monitors] directed at coverage of the Pontiff's remarks is based on the assumption that he said one thing or the other. In light of what can be gleaned from various reports and of the Pontiff's previous remarks about Abbas, it's reasonable to conclude that he said both and that media outlets picked up on the most provocative interpretation.

Most of the media outlets that CAMERA contacted with questions about their initial reporting have commendably followed up with either new reports detailing the uncertainty around the comments, or with a correction.

The follow up articles examining the uncertainty of the Pope's remarks and the surrounding controversy include those by The New York Times ("Vatican Seeks to Quiet Uproar of Pope's 'Angel of Peace' Remark") and AFP ("Pope 'angel of peace' Abbas comment was encouragement: Vatican"). Reuters has also indicated that an article examining the disputed the statement is under way.

In addition, The Associated Press issued the following correction:

In a story May 16 about Pope Francis meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, The Associated Press erroneously omitted two words when quoting the pope. Francis told Abbas "you are a bit an angel of peace," not "you are an angel of peace." The original Italian quote was, "Lei e un po un angelo della pace."

In response to CAMERA query as to how the AP reached this new wording, we received the following statement from Paul Colford, Director of AP Media Relations:

AP Rome correspondent Nicole Winfield was in attendance and covered last week's exchange between Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

After others questioned AP's report that the pope said to Mr. Abbas, "you are an angel of peace," AP reviewed written notes and a videotape of the meeting that supported Winfield's English-language translation of the pope's remarks, except for the omission of two words, the Italian "un po," or "a bit."

A correction distributed by AP on Monday evening shows these two words within the pope's comment as it was originally reported by AP: "you are a bit an angel of peace."

Posted by TS at May 19, 2015 04:16 AM


The fact is, its a disgrace that the Pope meets Abbas this glorifier of murdering Israeli civilians as Palmediawatch and Camera have documented.

The Pope should have insisted that in order to have a Palestinian state, the Palestinians must recognize the right of Israel to exist and he should have told Abbas to stop glorifying terrorists.

By advocating a Palestinian state, the Pope is saying in effect that he agrees with Hamas that Israel has no right to exist.

They Pals don't have a state, mainly because they refuse to accept any deal for statehood.
3 times in the 2000s the Palestinians rejected a state.

The reason that the Palestinians don't really want a state is because then they lose their claim to be victims, and that means no more aid money from other countries.
Horrors, the Palestinian leadership might have to work for a living, and left wingers like the Pope don't believe in that. They want their money redistributed after stealing it from those who work and create the wealth.

The Pope should be ashamed as he meets Abbas and refused to meet the Dalai Lama last December so not to upset the Chinese.
Pope declines Dalai Lama meeting in Rome
12 December 2014

Posted by: Lisa Epstein at May 19, 2015 01:21 PM

The theme of Abbas doctoral dissertation was "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism". It is pure hatred and antisemitism not meant to created peace but to be a call to war. Abbas has spent his lifetime advocating violence. The Pope needs a history lesson.

Posted by: Javier Lopez at May 20, 2015 10:12 AM

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