This excerpt is from Cardinal Pio Laghi’s statement after he spoke with President Bush this week:
- The Holy See maintains that there are still peaceful avenues within the context of the vast patrimony of international law and institutions which exist for that purpose. A decision regarding the use of military force can only be taken within the framework of the United Nations, but always taking into account the grave consequences of such an armed conflict: the suffering of the people of Iraq and those involved in the military operation, a further instability in the region and a new gulf between Islam and Christianity.
Why can a decision regarding the use of force only be taken within the framework of the United Nations? With what special status has the UN been invested? It is a forum for discussion among sovereign states. It holds no special international legal status and its rulings do not supersede those of sovereign states. The Catechism and Vatican II were clear that as long as there is no competent international authority, governments cannot be denied the right to self-defense. And as President Bush has pointed out, after 12 long years of thumbing his nose at the UN and its repeated inability to enforce its own resolutions, the UN has shown itself to be incompetent.
The UN has been a breeding ground for every type of anti-Christian, immoral group to try to impose its will on the world and society. The Church herself has been attacked on the floor of the General Assembly. Every tinpot dictator and thug uses the UN to gain respectability in the world community. I don’t understand why the Vatican continues to invest so much credibility in the UN to get anything done. The Catechism and the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes, do not specify what constitutes “an international authority with the necessary competence and power,” but it is certainly not the UN.