The Popes Opposed the War — Period

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It might be old news, but having just returned from Rome, I consider it worth repeating: Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II opposed the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Just two years ago I scorched Bill McGurn, a good guy when I knew him years ago, for making the absurd assertion that Pope Benedict had somehow been convinced by his moral and intellectual superior, George W. Bush, to support the war. I assumed then that the intelligent McGurn must have so opined because he works for Rupert Murdoch, and had worked previously for Bush. I later apologized to him for going too far — I have no means of reading McGurn’s mind and motives — and I likewise pray that McGurn has apologized to Pope Benedict, since McGurn cannot read the pope’s mind and motives, either.

Assuming, then, in a Christian sort of way, that McGurn had reached his conclusion on the basis of rational inquiry, rather than because he had been bought by the Bush-Murdoch combine (and I fervently hope indeed that he has not), I bring to light here a most important observation made two weeks ago tonight by Pope John Paul II’s closest friend, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of Krakow, who was John Paul II’s personal secretary for some 40 years.

At a vigil held near our pension on the night before the ceremony of beatification of Blessed John Paul II, Cardinal Dziwisz revealed that he had seen Pope John Paul get mad only twice in his life — once when condemning the Mafia in Italy, and once when his efforts to stop George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq failed. “He sent a cardinal to Washington, [D.C], and another to Baghdad, to say: do not seek to resolve these problems with war. And he was right. The war is still ongoing and it hasn’t resolved anything,” Cardinal Dziwisz told some 200,000 pilgrims.

Many Catholics and Christians of good will were misled for years about this war — but Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II were not among them. Perhaps Cardinal Dziwisz’s revelation might prompt them to reconsider their support for the “Christian Bush” and his immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional war that has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people — deaths that could have been avoided, had Bush, acting on his “gut,” not rejected the overtures of Pope John Paul II.

10:09 am on May 14, 2011