In an interview yesterday on Catholic Italian television, Pio Cardinal Laghi said President George W. Bush was “wrong” in saying that the war in Iraq would be “quick.”
Pope John Paul II had sent Cardinal Laghi to Washington nearly two years ago to relay to Bush the Pope’s position against the war in Iraq and to try to convince the President to opt for dialogue instead.
"When I went to Washington as the Pope's envoy just before the outbreak of the war in Iraq, [Bush] told me: 'Don't worry, your eminence. We'll be quick and do well in Iraq,"' the cardinal said about his meeting with Bush at the White House, held March 5, 2003.
"Unfortunately, the facts have demonstrated afterward that things took a different course - not rapid and not favorable," the cardinal told Telepace. "Bush was wrong."
The cardinal was the Vatican's first envoy to Washington in the 1980s. According to the Associated Press, Cardinal Laghi had established a friendship with Bush's father, former President George Bush.