Cardinal Ratzinger Relieved as End of War in Iraq Draws Near

ROME, APRIL 10, 2003 ( As U.S. troops took control of the center of Baghdad, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger expressed his satisfaction that the end of the war was drawing near.

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«We are very happy it turned out this way,» said the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. «It was not possible to foresee what might happen; with chemical arms, anything was possible. But now, we can begin again.»

The cardinal made his comments to journalists at the University of the Holy Cross before he took part in a round-table discussion on Catholics and politics.

He stressed that «it was right to resist the war and its threats of destruction.»

«It should never be the responsibility of just one nation to make decisions for the world, so we must still work with the U.N.,» he said, in response to a question from a reporter of the magazine Inside the Vatican.

«Everybody must be involved in the reconstruction of Iraq,» he said. «And we must pray for an end to the hellish situation in the Middle East.»

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