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Vatican diplomacy on Iraq looks better in hindsight

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Apr 29, 2014

Writing for the National Catholic Reporter (I know, I know), Sister Maureen Fiedler reports on an interview with Francis Rooney, who served as US ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush:

I asked Rooney specifically about the Iraq War because the Vatican was strongly opposed to that war, and he was ambassador at that time. He said the Vatican opposed that war because it feared three consequences: increased persecution of Christians, exacerbating the Shiite/Sunni divide in Iraq, and moving Iran to a stronger position in the Middle East. Rooney acknowledged that all three came to pass.

You might question Sister Fiedler’s credentials as an unbiased reporter; so would I. But if Rooney is partisan, he’s a partisan Republican. A decade after the fact, it’s really not possible to deny that the Vatican’s fears have been realized. The Vatican predicted that sectarian conflicts would flare, and last year about 88,000 Iraqis were killed. The Vatican feared that Christians would be worse off after the American intervention, and more than a million Christians have confirmed that judgment by leaving the country.

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  • Posted by: Bernadette - May. 08, 2014 1:04 PM ET USA

    George Bush was wrong, wrong, wrong to get us into a war in Iraq. Terrible consequences which JPII foresaw. It is still not over and we have left this country in a shambles. I would hate to be a mother of a killed U.S. soldier: he died for our freedom?

  • Posted by: gary.brisebois1104 - May. 07, 2014 2:40 PM ET USA

    John Paul begged the US not to go in. But the blood-lust could not be denied, and "American Catholics" wanted it too. I recall interviews on EWTN with clerics arguing that "this is a civil matter". Yes, and so was crucifying the Lord I suppose. And out of that debacle, America also got its worst president in history elected because of the backlash.

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