September 24, 2015

Papal Speech

So here's one reaction to the speech (from Ramesh Ponnuru).

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From National Review's Jim Geraghty found here:
"I’m just surprised that so many American conservatives are acting like this is the first time they’ve strongly disagreed with a pope. Anybody remember Pope John Paul II –- er, Saint Pope John Paul II -- calling military strikes against Saddam Hussein in 2003 “a crime against peace”? Not only did the Vatican denounce the decision to go to war, they offered an account of the pre-war discussions that portrayed the Bush administration as obstinate, irrational warmongers.

Or what about JPII’s response to the first Persian Gulf War?
Pope John Paul II delivered a scathing denunciation of the Persian Gulf war today, calling it a “darkness” that he said had “cast a shadow over the whole human community.”

“A choice was made of aggression and the violation of international law, when it was presumed to solve the tensions between the peoples by war, the sower of death,” he said in his Easter Sunday message, “Urbi et Orbi” -- “To the City and the World.”

It was a highly political Pope who stood this chilly morning on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, addressing tens of thousands of people who filled the vast square below him. Millions of others watched on television in 53 countries.

In effect, John Paul spun the globe for his listeners and, continent by continent, pronounced it to be intolerably filled with hunger, tyranny and war.

“Lend an ear, humanity of our time,” he said, speaking in Italian, “to the long-ignored aspiration of oppressed peoples, such as the Palestinians, the Lebanese, the Kurds, who claim the right to exist with dignity, justice and freedom -- legitimate requests repeated in vain for years.” Lebanon’s plight and the goal of a Palestinian homeland have long been familiar papal themes. But it was unusual for him to mention the Kurds, a transnational, largely Islamic group in the Middle East that for decades has sought territory for itself and whose members in Iraq are now fighting a civil war against President Saddam Hussein’s troops.
This is the favorite of most American Catholics and the favorite of most American Catholic conservatives. If the American Right could survive disagreements with that pope with admiration intact, there’s no reason to think the relationship with this one will be perpetually sour."

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