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Comparing Vatican diplomatic offensives on Syria in 2013, Iraq in 2003

Catholic World News - September 06, 2013

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter compares the Vatican's all-out diplomatic effort for peace in Syria with the similar effort launched by Pope John Paul II to prevent forestall the war in Iraq.

In each case, Allen observes, the Pope issued strong public statements, the Vatican summoned diplomats to a special briefing, and ranking prelates denounced the plans for war.

Still to be determined, Allen writes, is whether Pope Francis will send a special envoy to Washington in an attempt to persuade President Obama not to intervene-- as Pope John Paul II sent Cardinal Pio Laghi to plead with President Bush. Also it is not yet clear whether the new US ambassador to the Holy See, Ken Hackett, will be as energetic in defending American policy as his predecessor, Jim Nicholson, was during the Iraq war.

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