CONTROVERSIAL eastern rite Archbishop Hilarion Capucci has been plucked from the hot water into which the media eagerly plunged him after his recent mission to Iran, with a clean record.
The Archbishop visited the American hostages in Teheran on February 8 and spoke with the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the first visit to the hostages by a Catholic priest since Mass was celebrated at Christmas.
Archbishop Capucci, the former Syrian patriarchal vicar of Jerusalem, was found guilty by Israeli courts in 1974 of gunrunning for Palestinians. He was released from his 12 year prison sentence in 1977 when the Vatican gave assurances that he would not return to the Middle East or publicly discuss the region's political issues.
After the Iran visit the American news service NC said that the Vatican had not given permission for the trip and quoted Reuters as saying that he had been refused permission to leave Rome at Christmas.
The facts now seem to be that Archbishop Capucci at present is based in Paris not Rome. The terms of his parole have not been infringed, as Iran is outside the area within which he had agreed to abide by Vatican supervision. Instead of a truant schoolboy, the Archbishop comes out of the episode as a daring if self propellee mediator.