Vatican reasserts opposition to war in Iraq
The Vatican renewed its opposition to war in Iraq on Wednesday, saying military action would only make matters worse and that a pre-emptive strike raised serious ethical and legal problems.
"It's unilateralism, pure and simple," the Vatican's UN observer, Archbishop Renato Martino, said in comments published in the Italian newsweekly Famiglia Christiana.
The principle of a "first strike" as well as its possible use in Iraq "provoke profound reservations be it from the ethical or legal point of view," he said.
He recalled the Vatican's opposition to the 1991 Gulf War, saying: "Everyone knows the way it turned out. War doesn't resolve problems. Besides being bloody, it's useless," he said.
The Vatican's foreign minister has said the United Nations must authorize any military action in Iraq and a papal adviser has warned against the "unacceptable human costs and grave destabilizing effects" of a preventive strike.
The Italian government has sided closely with the United States in its campaign against Iraq.
VATICAN TELLS UN THAT NUCLEAR ARMS ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH PEACE
Representative Laments Stalled Process of Disarmament
The Vatican has told the United Nations there is no moral justification for military and political doctrines that promote the proliferation or stocking of nuclear weapons.
On Tuesday, when addressing the 1st Committee of the 57th Session of the UN General Assembly on General and Complete Disarmament, Archbishop Renato Martino, head of the Vatican delegation, expressed the Church's concern over the stagnation of the disarmament process.
"There can be no moral acceptance of military doctrines that embody the permanence of nuclear weapons," said Archbishop Martino, who on that same day was appointed by the Pope as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
"They are incompatible with the peace we seek for the 21st century; they cannot be justified. These weapons are instruments of death and destruction," Archbishop Martino added.
Papal Collaborator Poses Questions to US on Iraq Crisis (Zenit)
Iraq cleric reveals the sufferings of his faithful (3/10/02)
Melbourne Justice Commission urges boycott of 'blood tax' (2/10/02)
Washington Archbishop cautions lawmakers on Iraq war (30/9/02)
Catholic agency worried about 'untold suffering' in Iraq war (20/9/02)
4 Oct 2002