The Pope and George Bush met today. Contrary to expectations, the Pope did not lay into Bush about the injustice of the Iraq War. Instead they concentrated on the need to confront terrorism and to bring about a just resolution in Iraq. Unfortunately, the Pope continued his unwarranted love affair for the UN, talking about the need for international supervision. Even the official and unofficial Vatican sources did not hint at discord, instead emphasizing the cordiality of their meeting. That’s significant, too, because that is where subtle hints of rebuke for Bush’s policies would come from. Once again we see that just because Cardinal Martino says something, doesn’t make it official policy of the Vatican. The Pope’s most direct remarks were these:
Contrary to some observers’ expectations, the Pope did not explicitly remind President Bush of his opposition to the war in Iraq—although he did allude to “the unequivocal position of the Holy See.” Instead he spoke of “the evident desire of everyone that this situation now be normalized as quickly as possible with the active participation of the international community and, in particular, the United Nations Organization, in order to ensure a speedy return of Iraq’s sovereignty, in conditions of security for all its people.”
Here is the complete text of the Pope’s remarks.