Pope neither condemns, endorses Libya attacks

March 21, 2011

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI voiced "fear and trepidation" about
the "disturbing news coming from Libya" in a carefully worded statement
that neither endorsed nor condemned U.S. and European attacks against
Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi.


Benedict made his statement on Sunday (March 20), following his
weekly recitation of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square, saying he
was praying "for those involved in the dramatic situation" in Libya.


The pope also made an "urgent appeal to all political and military
leaders, that they take to heart, above all, the safety and security of
the citizenry and ensure access to humanitarian relief."


"I ask God that a horizon of peace and harmony may arise as soon as
possible on Libya and the entire region of North Africa," Benedict said.


The Vatican strongly opposed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, in
part because that invasion lacked the authorization of a United Nations
resolution. But the Vatican has not taken a position on the attacks on
Gadhafi, which were approved last week by the U.N. Security Council,
responding to the longtime Libyan leader's use of violence against
civilians in his efforts to put down a rebellion.