The Vatican said on Monday that Pope Francis had been misquoted in the media as calling Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “an angel of peace” when he awarded him a peace medallion in Rome on Sunday.
It was apparently a mistranslation of a report in the Italian-language newspaper La Stampa.
Several Italian-language experts confirmed to Arutz Sheva on Monday that Francis actually told Abbas that he “may” or “could” be an “angel of peace,” as a way of encouraging him to return to peace talks with Israel, but not calling him outright an angel of peace, as had been reported.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP that although he was there, did not hear the exact words spoken, but it was clear to him what the pope meant.
“Each of us must be an angel of peace for others. I was present at the audience but I did not hear the pope’s exact words,” he said.
“The sense of encouragement seems clear to me, and this gift is presented to many presidents, not just Abbas,” he said.