Vatican official claims Americans ready for 15,000 troop deaths
Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has claimed that some 100,000 body bags and 6000 coffins have been airlifted to a US military base in Sicily as part of American preparations for war on Iraq.
In an interview with a US Catholic weekly newspaper, Archbishop Martino said he had information that President George W Bush's administration "foresees" the deaths of 15,000 American troops should the predicted conflict become reality.
He also claimed that in addition to the body bags and coffins, a floating hospital for 1000 beds had also been sent to the US military base at Sicily.
But Melbourne's Herald-Sun reported yesterday that the Pentagon has denied Martino's claims
In the light of these facts the Archbishop restated the Vatican's total opposition to war which he said would exact an "unimaginable" price and result in "fire and tumult all over the Middle East."
He said the Catholic response to "a preventative war" on Iraq was a resounding "no" and argued that non-violent alternatives existed and should be used.
New development in Just War teaching (23/1/03)
12 Feb 2003