In a review of Weigel’s new book on John Paul II, Bernard Prusak notes the following:
” There is an extended analysis of differences between the curia’s opposition to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and JPII’s supposedly more sympathetic views toward President George W. Bush and his decision to go to war. “John Paul would certainly have welcomed regime change in Baghdad as a way to relieve the suffering of the people of Iraq,” his biographer writes. “He was committed, however, to promoting such change through nonmilitary means.” Weigel, of course, was a very public apologist for the Bush administration’s policies”
This is a remarkable statement. Since John Paul II was an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, does this mean the late pope was being dishonest? Of course, if the review is accurate, Weigel doesn’t provides any real evidence of conflict between the pope and advisors (a favorite Weigelonian theme
). Instead, all we are told is that John Paul would have liked to see the removal of Saddam Hussein by non-military means. What a vacuous statement! There are many world leaders that I would love to see thrown out of office tomorrow by peaceful means. I’m sure all people of good will, including popes and curial officials, would share this view. Of course, it does not
follow that we should bomb the crap out of their countries to hasten their departure. Weigel is grappling with the dissonance of refusing to admit error on the Iraq war while not wanting to disagree with the pope he so plainly idolizes. To do this, he creates artificial divisions. The result is not pretty.