Iraq’s deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz met with Pope John Paul and Vatican officials today. Aziz is a nominal Catholic. He also serves an evil man who murders at a whim, including his own sons and any general who crosses him, who has committed genocide against Kurdish and Shiite Muslim communities in his own, and the whole litany of atrocities. This was the Vatican’s statement on the meeting:
“This morning, Friday, February 14, 2003, the Holy Father received Tariq Aziz, vice prime minister of the Republic of Iraq who, following the audience, met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of state, accompanied by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, secretary for Relations with States.
“The meetings allowed for a broad exchange of ideas on the well-known danger of an armed intervention in Iraq which would add further serious sufferings to those populations, already tried by long years of embargo.
“Mr. Aziz wished to give assurances concerning the will of the Iraqi government to cooperate with the international community, especially on the matter of disarmament. For its part, the Holy See repeated the need to faithfully respect, with concrete commitments, the Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, guaranteed by international law.
“And lastly, it was reiterated that the Catholic Church will continue its work of educating to peace and coexistence among peoples, so that in every circumstance peaceful solutions will be found.
It’s nice to see the Vatican getting behind the use of force in Iraq. Oh, you didn’t see that? It’s right there when they say that UN resolutions need to be respected. Since the resolutions specify use of force against Iraq if it is in material breach, that must mean …. Oh, wait you don’t think they meant something else do you? Oh, right, they automatically declared in the second paragraph that war would only bring serious suffering to the people of Iraq. I tend to disagree. I think war would result in liberation and freedom and lifting of sanctions and so much more. For references, contact the people of Afghanistan.
By the way, Aziz, the nominal Catholic in Hussein’s government, is scheduled to go to Assisi tomorrow to light a candle for peace at St. Francis’ tomb. I pray to St. Francis to intercede for Saddam, for his conversion, but above for the conversion of the people of Iraq even as they are freed from the yoke of evil.