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    Vatican: Iraqi Christians Safer under Saddam
    Globalism; Posted on: 2007-08-08 00:52:22 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    "The facts speak for themselves"

    By Carol Glatz
    Catholic News Service

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although Iraq has a democratic government, Iraqi Christians were safer and had more protection under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, said the future head of the Vatican's interreligious dialogue council.

    During the buildup to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who will become head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Sept. 1, had criticized the U.S. government's plan of preventative war and said a unilateral war against Iraq would be a "crime against peace."

    In a recent interview with the Italian magazine 30 Giorni, the cardinal said his early criticisms had been prophetic.

    "The facts speak for themselves. Alienating the international community (with the U.S. push for war) was a mistake," he said in the magazine's Aug. 10 issue. A copy of the interview was released in advance to journalists.

    He said an "unjust approach" was used to unseat Saddam from power, resulting in the mounting chaos in Iraq today.

    "Power is in the hands of the strongest -- the Shiites -- and the country is sinking into a sectarian civil war (between Sunni and Shiite Muslims) in which not even Christians are spared," he said.

    Christians, "paradoxically, were more protected under the dictatorship," he said.

    Cardinal Tauran is a longtime veteran of the Vatican's diplomatic service and a specialist in international affairs. He was Pope John Paul II's "foreign minister," the official who dealt with all aspects of the Vatican's foreign policy from 1990 to 2003.

    He said his new appointment as head of the interreligious dialogue council carries "great responsibility" but that he also sees it "as a new chapter in my service to the Holy See." The cardinal will be responsible for overseeing the Vatican's dialogue efforts with representatives of non-Christian religions, including Islam.

    Full article
    News Source: Catholic News Service

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