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Catholic apologist regrets Cardinal Martino’s comments on Saddam
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.- (By Deal Hudson) .- Deal Hudson, Catholic apologist and editor of  Crisis Magazine issued today an electronic newsletter criticizing Cardinal Renato Martino’s statements on Saddam Hussein.

During the press conference held on Tuesday to present Pope John Paul’s letter for World Day of Peace, Cardinal Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said “I felt pity to see this man destroyed, [the military] looking at his teeth as if he were a cow. They could have spared us these pictures.”

According to Hudson, the release of the images “served a concrete purpose:”  For one, “It was important that Iraqis  could see with their own eyes that the Americans had captured who they said they'd captured.”

“In addition, the footage showed clearly that Saddam was receiving humane treatment: Doctors were caring for his health, confirming that he had not been injured or abused,” he added.

“And yet Martino not only empathizes with Saddam but criticizes the government's decision to release these images.”  “But can anyone really say that showing a picture of his dental exam is somehow demeaning his humanity?,” Hudson asks.

“And why pick this moment, when the entire world is celebrating his capture, to criticize those who caught him? Martino's comments suggest more than just an opposition to the war but a reflexive bias against America's actions... even her intentions,” the editor of Crisis Magazine claims.

Hudson acknowledges that Cardinal Martino’s tenure at the U.N. mission “was very successful --  especially in the defense of life in developing countries -- and made him worthy of his present position.”

Nevertheless, “it's important to remember that Cardinal Martino doesn't represent the official opinion of the Vatican. He is NOT the mouthpiece of the pope.”

“So why is he so often quoted in the news? During the run-up to the war with Iraq, even the Vatican -- who loudly denounced the war -- felt the need to quiet him. It was no longer simply his anti-war comments that were becoming problematic, but his anti-American stance as well,” Hudson explains.

“To protest that this despot had to endure a tongue depressor is, frankly, just silly,” Hudson adds in his message.  “The entire civilized world is rejoicing that this genocidal murderer was peaceably captured -- the Iraqi Interim Governing Council (IGC) praised the capture and called it a ‘huge victory’ for the entire human race. Why would Martino do any less?”

“It looks like Martino is pushing his own agenda instead of stepping aside and letting the appropriate officials in the Vatican speak for themselves.”

The electronic mail of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is  [email protected]

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