From his e-letter
And why pick this moment, when the entire world is celebrating his capture, to criticize those who caught him? Martino's comments suggest more than just an opposition to the war but a reflexive bias against America's actions... even her intentions.
It's important to remember that Cardinal Martino doesn't represent
the official opinion of the Vatican. He is NOT the mouthpiece of the
pope. So why is he so often quoted in the news? During the run-up to
the war with Iraq, even the Vatican -- who loudly denounced the war
-- felt the need to quiet him. It was no longer simply his anti-war
comments that were becoming problematic, but his anti-American stance
And because Martino has made himself so highly visible, his comments regularly appear in the news and drown out those of Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the official spokesman for the Vatican; the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano; and the new Secretary of Relations with States, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo. It looks like Martino is pushing his own agenda instead of stepping aside and letting the appropriate officials in the Vatican speak for themselves.
What's more, anti-life politicians have taken advantage of Martino's
outspokenness to make him appear to be "the voice of the Vatican" and
drive a wedge between the Catholic laity and true pro-life
politicians who may disagree with Martino's foreign policy. The
cardinal's comments aren't limited to the religious sphere; they
carry weight in the political world as well... without having the
benefit of true teaching authority behind them.
To protest that this despot had to endure a tongue depressor is,
frankly, just silly. The entire civilized world is rejoicing that
this genocidal murderer was peaceably captured -- the Iraqi Interim
Governing Council (IGC) praised the capture and called it a "huge
victory" for the entire human race. Why would Martino do any less?
He did say, "It's true that we should be happy that this arrest has
come about," but then immediately qualified that statement by
cautioning against future violence and saying that it wasn't a "total
solution to the problems of the Middle East."
But who on earth said it was?
Martino spent many years representing the Holy See at the United
Nations. His tenure of the U.N. mission was very successful --
especially in the defense of life in developing countries -- and made
him worthy of his present position.
But the plain fact is Martino's comments make him appear insensitive
to the boon this capture represents for the Iraqi people. Rather than
criticizing the U.S. military for airing 30 seconds of Saddam's early
detainment, he would have been better off expressing his sincere,
unqualified wish that this capture will be the start of a path to
peace and justice for Iraq.
Peace and justice... isn't that, after all, Martino's department?