Holy see wants multinational force in Iraq, says Vatican observer

Sandro Magister of the Italian weekly “L’Espresso” is reporting in his column this week that the Holy See is interested in promoting the presence of a multinational force in Iraq in order to support the government of Iyad Allawi.

According to Magister, the signs of this Vatican concern can be seen in various statements issued simultaneously by different Vatican authorities, from an unusual interview granted by Cardinal Angelo Sodano to the Italian daily “La Stampa,” to the editorial of the Catholic Church’s daily “L’Avvenire,” which clearly calls for military support for the Allawi government and the new democracy in Iraq.

“The Pope and the authorities of the Roman Church have not said so in first person,” writes Magister, “but they have clearly indicated such.  They would be very happy with a massive commitment from NATO in Iraq in order to support the Allawi government and defend free elections.”

According to Magister, this idea was favored in an editorial on the front page of Avvenire on September 26

Written by International affairs expert Vittorio Parsi, professor at the Catholic University of Milan, the editorial clearly calls for intervention by the West in order to bolster the Iraqi government.

The same call was also made, says Magister, by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar of Rome and President of the Italian Bishops Conference, in a recent conference on the threat of radical Islam.

Magister’s column includes the Parsi editorial in its entirety, the interview with Cardinal Sodano, and the address by Cardinal Ruini on the “Islamic Threat.”

The complete column is available at: www.chiesa.espressonline.it/english

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