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Cardinal Sodano hopes Taliban fall foreshadows new era For Afghans

The Vatican's Secretary of State has voiced the hope that the fall of the Taliban regime will allow "the formation of a democratic state, respectful of human rights, freedom, and especially religious liberty."

Catholic World News reports that Cardinal Angelo Sodano pointed out to the Italian daily La Repubblica that the few Catholics living in Afghanistan have suffered considerably under the Taliban government.

"We hope that will soon stop," he said.

Cardinal Sodano also made a point of saying that the military action in Afghanistan "has not threatened the dialogue between Christianity and Islam."

On the contrary, he said, the international crisis has strengthened the resolve of Christian and Muslim leaders to "get to know each other better, to love and help each other, as sons of the same father in heaven."