Pope Benedict XVI. Advocates for free exercise of religion by Christians in Iran. He hoped that a trusting and sincere dialogue would develop between the Holy See and Iranian authorities to improve the situation of Christian communities in the country, the pope told Iran’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Ali Akbar Naseri, Thursday at the Vatican.
At the same time, the head of the church expressed his wish for a consolidation of relations between the Vatican and Iran. The Holy See is confident that the Iranian authorities will guarantee Christians the free exercise of their faith, the head of the church said. They also trust that the Iranian authorities will provide the Catholic community with the conditions necessary for its existence. This concerns in particular a sufficient number of pastoral employees as well as sufficient freedom of movement, in order to ensure the religious supply of the Catholics. The pope announced that the Vatican would make the necessary efforts to help the Catholic community in Iran and keep alive the testimonies of Christian life there. That should be done in a spirit of benevolent understanding with all, he said. Benedict XVI said that relations between the Holy See and Iran should be based on mutual understanding and directed toward the common good.