Holy See Is Not Pacifist But Peace-Making, Says Cardinal Sodano

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 18, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is not "pacifist" but rather "peace-making," says Cardinal Angelo Sodano when explaining the Pope's efforts over the past months to avoid a new war in Iraq.



"The Holy See is not pacifist at all cost, as it admits legitimate defense on the part of states," the Vatican secretary of state added in an interview published today by the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

"What should be said, rather, is that the Holy See is always peace-making, as it works intensely to prevent the outbreak of conflicts," added the Pope's right-hand man in the governance of the Vatican.

"The Pope and all his collaborators do not cease to appeal to the parties in dispute to avoid the outbreak of war," the cardinal stressed.

"The Catholic episcopate is also in this line," he added. "Some days ago, Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, wrote that the war will not resolve the problems of the Middle East and that it would be 'the worst solution.'"

"John Paul II sent Cardinal Roger Etchegaray to Baghdad to explore every possible way directed to overcoming the present tension," he added. "It is necessary to continue with this task."