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Cardinal predicts Novak's effort to sell Vatican on Iraq war will fail

Cardinal Walter Kasper has predicted that Michael Novak, an American Catholic intellectual asked by the US government to try to persuade Rome of the morality of a possible "preventive war" in Iraq, will fail.

"I do not see how the requirements for a just war can be met at this time," Cardinal Kasper told the National Catholic Reporter.

Asked if he thought Novak's mission to persuade the Vatican could succeed, Kasper responded: "I don't think so."

"I am of the opinion of the pope himself, and of the Secretariat of State, of the Roman curia," Kasper said. "I do not think all the methods of peaceful negotiations, of diplomatic relations, have been exhausted."

"A war would touch the poorest of the poor, not Saddam Hussein," Kasper told the paper. "Women and children and sick people would have to suffer, and we should consider the destiny of such people."

US Ambassador to the Holy See James Nicholson announced in mid-January that he would bring Novak to Rome, after a series of critical comments by the pope and a host of Vatican officials on the idea of war with Iraq.

National Catholic Reporter

Pope's answer to Rumsfeld pulls no punches in opposing war
Vatican Officials Not Persuaded by US Case against Iraq (Catholic World News)
Opinions clash on just war (National Catholic Reporter)
God and American diplomacy (The Economist)
Experts: Religion affects foreign policy (Washington Times)
Morality ... and a war against Iraq (Bruce Duncan CSsR, Catholic Weekly)
Moluccas: church leaders appeal against war on Iraq (Independent Catholic News)
Swiss Bishops Alarmed at Lack of Ethical Debate on Iraq War (Zenit)
Prayer for peace campaign (Catholic Leader)

7 Feb 2003