Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Before he was pope

Almost four years ago, in September 2002, Catholic News Service reported that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said a U.S. attack on Iraq would not be morally justifiable.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- It would not be moral for the United States, acting alone or with only a few allies, to attack Iraq before a new round of inspections of Iraq's arsenal, said Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The cardinal, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the United Nations, while not perfect, is the body chosen by the world community to judge the legitimacy of war.

As long as the United Nations and most of its member nations support weapons inspections instead of immediate military action, the United States does not have a right to act unilaterally, the cardinal told reporters after a speech on politics and morality.

The cardinal's comments were reported Sept. 21 in the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire. His office did not confirm his remarks, but distributed the text of his speech in Trieste, Italy.

Asked by reporters if U.S. military action against Iraq could be justified morally, he answered, "Certainly not in this situation."

The entire article is available here. We at Albany Catholic are not aware of those views changing since the cardinal became pope. And for the record, you should not forget that the inspectors he referred to left Iraq because President Bush called them back, not because, as some have claimed, Saddam Hussein kicked them out.