The Italian press is notoriously gossipy, but that’s what Corriere Della Serra seems to be suggesting. On a trip to the Middle East this summer, Condoleeza Rice sought an audience with the pope. None was forthcoming. Corriere speculates:
“The refusal may also have been prompted by Ms Rice’s stance in 2003, when she was Mr Bush’s national security adviser. On the eve of the Iraqi conflict, it was Ms Rice who said bluntly that she did not understand the Vatican’s anti-war stance. She treated John Paul II’s envoy, Cardinal Pio Laghi, with a coolness that bordered on disrespect when he was sent to Washington on 2 March 2003 on a desperate mission to avert military intervention. Clearly, the incident has not been forgotten.”
(Hat tip: Josh Marshall).