From AP: VATICAN CITY (by Nicole Winfield) – "Cardinal Pio Laghi, a longtime Vatican diplomat who went to Washington to try to dissuade U.S. President George W. Bush from launching the2003 invasion of Iraq, has died, the Vatican said Sunday. He was 86.Laghi died Saturday evening in Rome, said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Ciro Benedettini. He had been unwell in hospital for some time, news reports said. Pope John Paul II tapped Laghi, a former envoy to Washington, in 2003 to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush on the eve of war. Laghi was trying to prevent what he said was a morally and legally unjustified invasion.Laghi, who had been friendly with the Bush family, delivered a letter from John Paul and pressed Bush on whether he was doing everything to avert war."You might start and you don’t know how to end it," Laghi said at the time."
The full story is here. H/T Robert Mickens (Photo courtesy of CNS).
Laghi’s visit was a pointed reminder that while the Vatican and the Bush administration were often closely aligned on many issues--abortion among them--they were not always in agreement. Laghi’s visit was among the strongest of the Vatican’s efforts against the Iraq war.
James Martin, SJ