View Full Version : The Pope Condemns War On Iraq

Jan 14th, 2003, 08:40 AM
Tuesday, January 14, 2003

'No to war!' declares the pope in a call for diplomacy


VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II yesterday expressed his strongest opposition yet to a potential war in Iraq, describing it as a "defeat for humanity" and urging world leaders to try to resolve disputes with Iraq through diplomatic means.

"No to war!" the pope said during his annual address to scores of diplomatic emissaries to the Vatican, an exhortation that referred in part to Iraq, a country he mentioned twice.

"War is not always inevitable," the pope said. "It is always a defeat for humanity."

Wondering aloud what to say "of the threat of a war which could strike the people of Iraq," he added: "War cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option, and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations."

The pope had previously articulated concerns about an American-led military strike against Iraq, most notably on Christmas Day, when he beseeched people "to extinguish the ominous smoldering of a conflict which, with the joint efforts of all, can be avoided."

But in those instances, his message was largely implicit. He did not refer to Iraq by name, and his words were not as blunt.

Yesterday's remarks came as the United States continues a buildup of its military presence in the Middle East, and they exemplified international leaders' apprehensions and attempts at political and moral suasion as a moment of American decision seems to draw near.

The pope's comments also recalled his opposition to the Persian Gulf War in 1991. His refusal to support that effort strained diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the United States at the time.

What the pope said yesterday was not surprising: He has consistently decried a range of wars throughout his 24-year papacy, often without immediate or discernible effect on events.

But after the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the pope said that nations have a moral and legal right to defend themselves against terrorism.

He did not condemn the bombing of Afghanistan, although he did say that such military actions must be aimed solely at people with "criminal culpability" and not whole groups of innocent civilians.

In speaking out about Iraq yesterday, he joined a large and robust international chorus of opposition.

Wilfrid-Guy Licari, the Canadian ambassador to the Holy See, said that the pope's voice would stand out as an especially resonant one.

"It is putting extra pressure, because he's one of the only moral voices left in the world with credibility," Licari said.

He added that the pope's comments reflected the Vatican's intensifying worry about, and preoccupation with, the situation in Iraq. Over the last month, a growing number of Vatican officials have raised questions about the morality, necessity and consequences of a war in Iraq.

R. James Nicholson, the American ambassador to the Holy See, also noted that the pope "speaks with a great deal of credibility and moral authority."

"The United States listens," Nicholson said.

Jan 14th, 2003, 08:41 AM
Pope condemns war on Iraq


Pope John Paul has condemned a possible war in Iraq, saying it could still be avoided and that it would be a defeat for humanity.
He made clear his opposition in his yearly "State of the World" address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican on Monday, saying diplomacy is the way forward.

"No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity," the 82-year-old pontiff said.

"And what are we to say of the threat of a war which could strike Iraq, the land of the Prophets, a people already sorely tried by more than 12 years of embargo?," he said.

"War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations".

He said international law and diplomacy were the only worthy means to resolve differences.

John Paul in his Christmas message three weeks ago urged world leaders not to go to war on Iraq, a theme he repeated on New Year's Day.

The Pope's latest comments were released as a political row flared in Britain among Labour Party colleagues of Prime Minister Blair, who called on "strong line and clear strategy" on his country's policy on Iraq in the face of mounting pressure demanding for peaceful solution and avoid the war.

Jan 14th, 2003, 01:12 PM

Jan 14th, 2003, 01:59 PM

Jan 14th, 2003, 02:12 PM
I have a lot of respect for pope. He was great at his prime. He however as many lifetime rulers can't see when it is the right time to go. JPII is already far past that time.

Jan 14th, 2003, 05:21 PM
The Pope is right on this one. :)

Jan 14th, 2003, 07:38 PM

Jan 15th, 2003, 12:49 AM

Jan 15th, 2003, 02:39 AM
Not true. A Pope can abdicate (that is the official description of a Pope stepping down) if he so chooses. The Papacy is not necessarily for life. However, I think he must get the approval of the College of Cardinals which is the same body that elects the Pope. The last time a Pope retired was about 700 years ago. Last year, the rumors were that His Holiness would retire after his trip to Poland but those were unsubstantiated.

Jan 15th, 2003, 05:00 AM
The approval of the College of Cardinals is a mere formality They would never refuse an abdication. It's up to the Pope if he wants to go or not.

~ The Leopard ~
Jan 15th, 2003, 08:19 AM
Well, at this stage I'm against a war with Iraq. The evidence for its necessity just hasn't come in, even though I am open to persuasion on the issue.

But if the Pope is opposed to it, maybe it's a good idea. That old fool has no credibility in my eyes at all.

Jan 15th, 2003, 12:21 PM

Jan 15th, 2003, 04:18 PM

Jan 16th, 2003, 02:04 AM