Cardinal Ratzinger says unilateral attack on Iraq not justified
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger does not believe that a unilateral military attack by the United States against Iraq would be morally justifiable, under the current circumstances.
According to the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - who acknowledged that political questions are not within his competence - "the United Nations is the [institution] that should make the final decision."
"The fact that the United Nations is seeking the way to avoid war, seems to me to demonstrate with enough evidence that the damage would be greater than the values one hopes to save," the cardinal said.
He said that "the UN can be criticised" from several points of view, but "it is the instrument created after the war for the coordination - including moral - of politics."
The "concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Cardinal Ratzinger noted.
VATICAN PAPER FAULTS ISRAELI CAMPAIGN AGAINST ARAFAT
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has denounced the "relentless" Israeli campaign against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The paper says Arafat is "a prisoner amidst a heap of stones in Ramallah" after Israeli military vehicles deliberating destroyed several buildings in the Palestinian leader's compound.
It also lamented the inaction of international leaders during "the tragedy that is being played out in the Palestinian territories."
The paper observed in its 24 September edition: "Despite the US intervention to stop the demolition of Yasser Arafat's headquarters, one has the overall impression that the international community remains a passive spectator."
ENVOY SAYS PUT NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY AT THE SERVICE OF PEACE
Meanwhile Monsignor Leo Boccardi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the International Organisations in Vienna, Austria, spoke told the 46th session of the General Conference of the International Agency of Atomic Energy (AIEA) that "it is very important to replace old technical equipment with modern [technology] that provide a higher level of safety".
"The radiological protection of patients and caregivers has been for my Delegation a question of great importance," he said. "It the human person who is at the centre of all scientific research and development. But this fundamental principle does not exclude the problem of environment protection and the question of the impact of nuclear technologies, notably ionizing radiation, on it."
Monsignor Boccardi said that the AIEA put nuclear technology "at the service of sustainable development, peace and wellbeing of the entire human family."
Zenit/Vatican Information Service/Catholic World News
24 Sep 2002