DAILY CATHOLIC TUESDAY January 19, 1999 vol. 10, no. 12
NEWS & VIEWS
VATICAN SEEKS END TO IRAQ'S ISOLATION AS IRAQ'S CHALDEAN PATRIARCH CALLS FOR THE SAME ON VISIT TO SPAIN
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The chief foreign-policy official at the Vatican, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, has issued a new call for efforts to reintegrate Iraq into the international community.
Speaking to a Vatican television (CTV) audience on January 16, exactly eight years after the beginning of an allied offensive against Iraq in the Persian Gulf war, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States said, "To isolate a country is never the best solution."
Archbishop Tauran used the same logic to argue against continued international embargos on Cuba and Libya. Such isolation, he send, "lends itself to frustration and sometimes unreasonable reactions, and certainly not to mutual understanding."
Saying explicitly that he was articulating the official policy of the Holy See, the archbishop said that in the case of Iraq, further military options should not be considered. "The power of right should prevail over the power of might," he said.
In a recent visit to Spain, the Caledonian Patriarch of Babylon, his Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, spoke on the difficult situation which Iraq is going through. This situation would be partly due to the economical sanctions applied to Iraq and maintained in the last years. Concerning the matter the Patriarch of about 600,000 of Chaldean rite Catholics in Iraq and Iran summoned the Western countries to put an end to the sanctions, warning on the necessity of a total condoning and not only a partial one. "With the condoning of the seizure of foods that the UN proposes, the whole country would become a field of refugees. Everything would stop: industry, agriculture, any activity, only in order to wait for the portion of food," he declared.
In an interview published by the weekly publication of the Archdiocese of Madrid Alpha and Omega, the Patriarch manifested his hope that Pope John Paul II may visit Iraq. "He has promised to go to Iraq, though it will depend on the political situation of the region, and that his health may permit it also," he said. A couple of weeks ago, the Patriarch had confirmed the Popes desire to pilgrim to the lands of Iraq as soon as the conditions permit it, "to be able to carry out a spiritual pilgrimage through the route of Abraham before the Jubilee. And we are all praying so that it may happen," he added.
Concerning the dramatic situation that this country is going
through, Faiq Bourachi, responsible of the Office of Caritas
International for Iraq in Amman (Jordan), pointed out that
according to the government Iraq obtained help during the crisis
only from the Catholic Church. This help was distributed between
the whole population, Catholics as well as Muslims. The
sanctions have caused the paralysis of a great part of the
industry of the country, and at the moment a preoccupying lack
of medicines exists. This situation is worsened by the lack of
medical equipment, especially since some hospitals have been
bombed during the military aggressions.
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
NEWS & VIEWS