Rome, Italy, Mar 21, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Sandro Magister, religious reporter of the Italian weekly L’Espresso and a noted Vatican analyst, claims in his weekly report that the Vatican is not sympathetic to the idea of pulling out of Iraq.
In his column, available over the Internet at: www.chiesa.espressonline.it/english, Magister argues that “neither the pope nor other Vatican authorities have associated themselves in anyway whatsoever with the ‘get out of Iraq’ policy expressed by many political leaders and sectors of public opinion, including Catholics in Spain, Italy and other European countries.”
Magister analyzes two “semi-official” Catholic sources such as the daily “Avvenire,” owned and operated by the Italian Bishops’ Conference, and “AsiaNews,” the on-line press agency run by Fr. Bernardo Cervellera, from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
According to Magister, the “Avvenire” editorial, “begs all European governments, including France and Germany, not to abandon Iraq but, on the contrary, ‘to send their troops there under the UN flag to help establish security in the country’.” Fr. Cervellera, for his part, writes that both the war and the presence of allied Coalition forces have done “good things for Iraq.” “Hence,” Magister says, “he believes it is right that all countries of the world make a greater commitment and support the present and future of the Iraqi people.”