Kissinger in conclave at Vatican
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is staying at the Vatican's Domus Sanctae Marthae - residence of the conclave cardinals who elected Pope Benedict - while he participates in a Holy See seminar on charity and justice.
Catholic News Service reports that Mary Ann Glendon, a US law professor and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, invited Kissinger to speak at the academy's 27 April - 1 May plenary session.
The academy, which advises the Vatican on social issues, was to focus on "Charity and Justice in the Relations Among Peoples and Nations."
The meeting was to be the last in a series - held over the past 13 years - focusing on economic, social and legal issues tied to the theme of globalisation.
Glendon told reporters that Kissinger was invited after he was included on an academy members' list of "experts, some with scholarly expertise, some with practical experience with the problems" the academy faces.
The academy listens to the experts "the way, let's say, a congressional committee sometimes hears testimony," she said.
"We are not looking for guidance from people who come before us to testify," but "we do want the benefit of the great expertise and experience" the guests can offer, she said.
Dr Glendon said Kissinger, like the other guest speakers and experts, waived his usual speaking fee and expressed interest in participating in the meeting, not simply stopping by to give a speech.
And, she said, he accepted the invitation the Vatican extends to guest speakers to stay within the Vatican walls in the comfortable, but by no means deluxe, Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Kissinger, the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize winner, was scheduled to speak 28 April on "Current International Trends and World Peace."
Kissinger to participate in Vatican meeting on charity, justice (Catholic News Service, 26/4/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Domus Sanctae Marthae (Wikipedia)
Henry Kissinger (Wikipedia)
KissingerWatch / International Campaign Against Impunity
Cardinals' lips sealed (CathNews, 11/4/05)
Black smoke signals no pope yet (CathNews, 19/4/05)
30 Apr 2007