DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     December 6, 1999     vol. 10, no. 231

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Cardinal Sodano Speaks About Critical Issues of Vatican Diplomacy

        VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) - Last Wednesday, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, touched upon the current critical issues of Vatican diplomacy, while addressing the Italian embassy at the Vatican. The occasion offered reporters of the international press the opportunity to subject the Secretary of State to a deluge of questions on the Vatican's foreign policy.

        Referring to the Pope's possible trip to Iraq, the Cardinal explained that the Vatican is still waiting "for the all-clear sign from the Baghdad government." He also explained that the thorny question of the Nazareth mosque will not affect the papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which should take place in March of 2000. However, the Vatican is convinced that "some extremist group" has decided to force this issue, but Cardinal Sodano trusts "that a sense of responsibility will prevail."

        Cardinal Sodano is also confident regarding future relations with communist governments of the Far East. "There is nothing unchangeable in history. If men are wise, things can change." At the same time, he confirmed the Vatican's hope to open new avenues of dialogue with China and North Korea. In referring to the latter country, which has just been visited by a Vatican humanitarian delegation, the Cardinal expressed the hope that "this trip might open a door."

    Natural Law and New Civilization

        The Cardinal's conference was focused on the need to restore natural law to contemporary society. For centuries, this law that for centuries was the foundation of all political thinking, but today it seems to be substituted by an individualistic point of view on subjective morality.

        The Vatican Secretary of State feels it is necessary to reestablish the moral sense of humanity in the new millennium, which will lead to real and lasting goals of civilization. On this road, the contribution of religion is fundamental, especially that of Christians, called to be "the salt of the earth and the light of the world," Cardinal Sodano concluded. ZE99120209

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 6, 1999       volume 10, no. 231


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