Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Vicar of Christ Speaks Truth to Powers and Principalities

"On March 5, 2003, Pope John Paul II sent the Italian Cardinal, Pio Laghi, to intervene with President George W. Bush and ask him not to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein, but the US leader rejected the appeal claiming he was 'convinced it was God’s will'" — When Bush put John Paul II's letter on the side table without opening it.

"Cardinal Laghi told Bush that three things would happen if the United States went to war, the source recalled. First, it would cause many deaths and injuries on both sides. Secondly, it would result in civil war. And, thirdly, the United States might know how to get into a war, but it would have great difficulty getting out of one."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

The job of the Church is to preach peace, in season and out of season. That is part of its vocation in the world. I would say that there is a point when secular rulers may come to an honest disagreement with Church officials about the proper use of military force. But secular officials should always listen to the wisdom of religious leaders -- not necessarily follow what they say (because secular leaders have a rightful role to play in the right ordering of the state and the Church has limited competency in specific policy matters) -- but listen to their council.

When it comes to Iraq, it is likely that things would have worked out far better if the wisdom of the Church had been heeded.

Part of the problem, though, is that the Church's diplomacy was ham-fisted when it came to dealing with the second Bush administration. Once the Church went public with its discussions with Bush, there was no way he could climb down without looking like he was bowing to international pressure. And that, post 9-11, for good or ill, he could not do.

In diplomacy, saving face is critical.

September 30, 2011 at 2:01 AM  
Blogger Francis-Xavier said...

Mark, you get an A in wishful thinking. Diplomats never ever go public before more private channels have clearly failed. And the Vatican was making headway in stopping the war... until the scandal broke... or was broken.

Let me translate the cardinal's warning into English as it's spoken in some parts of Texas. "Cardinal Laghi told Bush that three things would happen if the United States went to war, the source recalled. First, it would cause many deaths and injuries on both sides.

=the more war-wrecked, the easier the access to cheap oil.

Secondly, it would result in civil war.

=the more chaos, the easier to get good terms on oil deals.

And, thirdly, the United States might know how to get into a war, but it would have great difficulty getting out of one.

=cheap oil.

"

September 30, 2011 at 7:48 PM  

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