“We Understand Pope’s Concern,” Colin Powell Tells Vatican

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 19, 2003 (Zenit.org).- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned the Vatican secretary for relations with states to say that “we understand the Pope’s concern” over Iraq.

In an interview by International Wire Services (see www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2003/18810.htm), Powell revealed on Tuesday that he called Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran a day earlier.

“We understand the Holy Father’s concern,” Powell told the archbishop. “But sometimes issues come before us that cannot be avoided, but because we are peace-loving, we hope they’ll go away, and we believe firmly this is one such issue.”

According to the U.S. official, Saddam Hussein “is the one who has brought this upon the world, not the United States.”

On Wednesday, the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera reported that the Holy See appreciated the “welcome” telephone call because, according to Vatican sources, Powell also assured the Vatican that “all necessary precautions have been taken to avoid civilian victims.”