Vatican rejects report that Pope Francis telephoned Assad

Vatican City, Sep 5, 2013 / 10:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Vatican official denied a news story that claimed that Pope Francis had telephoned the Syrian president, Bashar Al-Assad.

Argentinian daily Clarin stated the pontiff telephoned the country’s leader to discuss ongoing violence in the country and possible military strikes from outside nations.

But the director of the Holy See press office affirmed during a Sept. 5 press conference that the Pope did not come into contact with Al-Assad in any form.

“Categorically the Pope did not telephone Al-Assad,” Father Federico Lombardi told journalists at the press office.

“I received many phone calls this morning asking if this was true so I asked the Pope myself,” he added during the conference.

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