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Vatican says it's willing, able to help Venezuela

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says it is willing and able to help intervene diplomatically in Venezuela's crisis after weeks of deadly unrest but says it must study expectations and options about what role it could play.

On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accepted the idea of a good-faith facilitator after coming under mounting pressure to reconcile with opponents who have been protesting for nearly three months. He mentioned Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, until last year the Vatican's ambassador to Caracas.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Friday the Holy See and Parolin were "certainly willing and desirous to do whatever is possible for the good and serenity of the country." But he said the Vatican needed to understand if Vatican intervention would bring about a "desired outcome."

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