Pope Francis will be in the Central African Republic (CAR) at the end of November.
Italy finds itself in a very specific situation with the head of the Catholic Church in its capital. Rome is the heart of Christianity, the home of the Holy See, and also of a transnational network of religions. This has a special impact on Italy, not only because of the past when the Papal States were part of the Italian debate, but because of the present situation where the Pope is one of the most influential people in the world(1), even without any of the hard power that other states can have.
The special case of Italy
In late last May the Pope paid a visit to the Palestinian Authority and Israel. He also invited both presidents, Mahmud Abbas and Shimon Peres, to pray together in Rome, which they did on June the 8th. It all went well. The Pope is a great person, full of charm and good intentions. Abbas and Peres represent the best of their respective peoples. They both radiate openness and rationality. For the Palestinians the visit was significant as another voice of global importance calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state.