Source: The Star Online
Wire Service: Reuters
Pope Benedict has no plans to meet the Dalai Lama next month, the Vatican said on Monday in an about face from a previous position that irked China.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said "no audience is planned" between Benedict and the Dalai Lama and added there had never been an official, written statement of a meeting.
A Vatican official who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters in late October that the Pope would meet the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism on Dec. 13.
The meeting during the Dalai Lama's visit to Italy, which would have been their second since Benedict's election in 2005, was widely reported in the world media.
Beijing's communist government responded early in November by saying such a meeting would "hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" and urged the Pontiff to take action showing he "is sincere in improving relations".