The Vatican is negotiating with Saudi Arabia for "authorisation to build Catholic churches," says archbishop Mounged El-Hachem, papal nuncio of Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Bahrein and the United Arab Emirates.
According to La Stampa, the secret talks, favoured by Saudi King Abdullah, have been taking place for several weeks.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pope Benedict XVI meet in November at the Vatican in Rome.
It was the first official visit by a Saudi monarch to the Vatican and the meeting lasted for thirty minutes.
The Italian newspaper claimed on Monday that up to 900,000 Catholics live in Saudi Arabia, all of them expatriate workers.
"If we get official authorisation to build the first church, it will be an historic achievement, a clear step forward from a social, cultural and religious point of view," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, quoted in La Stampa.
The secret talks seem to have been taking place while Qatar's first Catholic Church was inaugurated in the area of Abu Hamour near the capital, Doha.
Last Mod: 18 Mart 2008, 11:21