The Washington Times and others quote Pope Francis as calling Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace.”
However in actual fact the Pope stopped short of calling Abbas an angel of peace. The actual quote is “May the angel of peace destroy the evil spirit of war. I thought of you: May you be an angel of peace.”
Abbas was at the Vatican to attend the ceremony of the canonization of two 19th century nuns from what was then Ottoman ruled Palestine. In the traditional exchange of gifts Abbas provided relics of the newly canonized nuns.
Abbas is known as a Holocaust denier, terrorist supporter, and corrupt politician. The Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian state earlier this week and some see this as a warming of relations between the Vatican and Palestine.
The National Review laments the sloppy reporting of several sources that mis-reported this story. Perhaps this is the real issue here, that the media’s sloppiness and lack of verification has substantial impact on public opinion and as issues are interpreted with a liberal bias.