ROME, JAN. 30, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican secretary of state appealed to the United States and Great Britain to analyze the moral aspects and consequences of a possible war against Iraq.
“Whom does it suit to confront 1 billion Muslims and run the risk of decades of hostility from the Muslim world?” Cardinal Angelo Sodano asked Tuesday in the Holy See’s nunciature in Italy, where he celebrated his 25 years of episcopacy.
During an informal meeting with journalists, Cardinal Sodano confirmed that the Vatican is committed “with all the means at its disposal” to find a solution to this crisis.
He reminded Western heads of state that a “war” of attack is not justifiable ethically, and less so if it is “preventive,” as reflected in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which focuses on a country’s right to legitimate defense.
In this connection, the cardinal said the “West has the right to defend itself from terrorism,” but it also has the obligation to do so according to morality.
This poses the question of the clash of civilizations, “poorly presented, certainly, by some, but possible,” he cautioned.
In any case, he added, “there is not just one Islam. There are many tendencies within it and Muslim ambassadors to the Vatican speak of tolerance,” although there is “the problem of the situation of Christians who are suffering” in some of those countries.
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the secretary of state said that there have been “errors and blindness on both sides, but the two peoples must be able to have two states with secure borders.”