Monday, April 11, 2005

The Anti-War Pope

The Online Beat

Don't let right-wing extremists, militarists, and the Project for a New American Century co-opt the legacy of the late pontiff, Pope John Paul II.

The Catholic Church, and Christianity generally, is a church of peace and social justice, and this Pope was unabashed in his opposition to unregulated, free-market capitalism as championed by PNAC, George W. Bush, and even many post-Reagan Democrats in this country.

...don't be so naive as to think that White House political czar Karl Rove and his minions -- all of whom are deeply concerned about the president's declining poll numbers -- have failed to calculate the political advantage that might be gained by associating the president with a pontiff whose passing has drawn unprecedented attention in the U.S. and around the world.

As Bush and other global leaders pay their final respects to John Paul II on Friday, however, it is important to remember that the Catholic pontiff was not a fan of this American president's warmaking.

When the war began, aides said that the Pope was "very disappointed and very sad" that Bush had ignored appeals to give peace a chance. The Pope remained a critic of U.S. actions in Iraq, especially after it was revealed in May, 2004, Iraqi prisoners had been abused by US soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison.

"From all continents come endless, disturbing information about the human rights situation, revealing that men, women and children are being tortured and their dignity being made a mockery of. ... It is all of humanity which has been wounded and ridiculed," John Paul II said.

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