Papal Nuncio Will Stay in Baghdad Even If War Breaks Out

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 14, 2003 ( The Holy See announced that the papal nuncio in Iraq will remain in that country even if war breaks out.

“The apostolic nunciature in Baghdad will remain open even in the case of an eventual armed intervention in the country,” said Joaquín Navarro-Valls, director of the Vatican press office.

“It is a time-honored tradition of the Holy See that its diplomatic representatives remain close to the populations to whom they have been sent, even in situations of extreme danger,” the Pope’s spokesman said today.

The apostolic nuncio in Iraq is Archbishop Fernando Filoni. His secretary is Father Jean-François Lantheaume.

“Even when there are five minutes to go before the war, there is always time for peace,” Navarro-Valls said on Thursday, during a public meeting held in Milan, according to the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

“The hope for peace must never be abandoned and to obtain it there must be more awareness and responsibility on the part of all,” he added.

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