National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Federico Lombardi

Dalai Lama says Pope Francis is unwilling to meet: 'It could cause problems'

The Dalai Lama said Thursday that he would not meet Pope Francis while in Rome for a summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners.

"The Vatican administration says it is not possible because it could cause problems," the Dalai Lama said, hinting that the Vatican may be unwilling to irk China, a country with which it wants to engage and perhaps re-establish diplomatic relations.

But the Vatican's chief spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, declined to say whether the pope had personally turned down a request for a meeting with the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists.

Vatican raffles pope gifts to raise money for poor

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Like many Catholic parishes, the Vatican has turned to a raffle to raise money; the difference is, though, the prizes are items originally given as gifts to Pope Francis.

For 10 euros -- about $12.50 -- anyone can go to the Vatican post office or pharmacy and buy a chance to win a Fiat Panda 4x4, a small SUV "fully loaded" with every option available, the Vatican said. Tickets are not for sale on the Internet or anywhere outside Vatican City.

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