L'Osservatore Welcomes Approval of Iraqi Constitution

A Step Toward Normalization, Says Papal Nuncio

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).- L’Osservatore Romano says that the approval of the Iraqi Constitution “seems a good omen” for peace and democracy in that country, a judgment shared by the papal representative there.

The Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper opened its Italian edition today with a brief editorial describing the results of the referendum as “a step forward in the difficult and tired political process of Iraq.”

It is “a striking event,” the paper said, “one day after the umpteenth ‘day of blood’ in Baghdad, a city hit by the strategy of terror.”

“In the face of this strategy, which has no letup, the urgency of appropriate political solutions is ever greater,” it added. “In this connection, the approval of the new Constitution seems a good omen, premise for further progress on the path to real democracy.”

For his part, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, the apostolic nuncio in Baghdad, described the approval of the constitution as “a positive step toward normalization in the country.”

Nevertheless, he told AsiaNews, “the constitution is patently contradictory in some areas. On the one hand, it is supposed to be a beacon for the Mideast; on the other, it contains some traditional elements.

“It is necessary to keep in mind that Iraqi society is in turmoil and undergoing transformation, and we must take into consideration that this process must go on.”

Tip of iceberg

The constitution “leaves the door open to amendments since the next government has at least four months to improve it,” Archbishop Filoni said. “This is a way out to solve some contentious issues that might otherwise degenerate into violence.”

The Sunni community as a whole had initially opposed the constitution. Some segments of that community ended up accepting it after some changes were made.

The situation in the country is still difficult, the nuncio said.

“It is not only about security,” he said. “That is only the tip of the iceberg of problems: jobs, energy, reconstruction, crime. Broken down roads … it is impossible to live when you have power for only 10 minutes a day.”

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