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Jesuit journal argues against quick withdrawal from Iraq

Civilta Cattolica, the influential journal of Italian Jesuits, has argued strongly against a quick withdrawal of allied forces from Iraq, insisting that the Western world must not "abandon the Iraqi people to their fate".

Aan essay in the 6 December edition by Italian Jesuit Micele Simone responds to a rising climate of opinion in Italy favouring a rapid withdrawal.

The author acknowledges that the calls for withdrawal are increasing because "the attacks against Westerners, and in particular against Americans, have been increasing." But he insists that the occupying forces cannot leave Iraq until the basis for an independent government there has been established.

Civilta Cattolica's articles on major policy issues are viewed as important statements on Vatican policy, as the journal's contents are improved in advance by the Secretariat of State.

The article argues that the first objective of the US-led initiative was to create, at least in embryonic form, a modern state capable of controlling and governing the major Iraqi cities.

It calls the building up of agencies for public administration, police, and social services, but cautions against secret dealings with different factions inside Iraq, which could undermine the process of building new institutions.

Influential Jesuit journal argues against quick withdrawal from Iraq (Catholic World News 5/12/03)

La Civilta' Cattolica

8 Dec 2003