ROME (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI’s choice as the next secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said the current situation in Iraq demonstrates that the Vatican’s warnings against the war were “prophetic”.
At the same time, the cardinal said he has argued against a precipitous pullout of Western forces from Iraq because it would be leave local Iraqis exposed to dangers.
Cardinal Bertone, who is Archbishop of Genoa, Italy, made the comments in a lengthy interview with the Italian magazine 30 Giorni (30 Days), published on August 9.
Cardinal Bertone, who takes up his new duties on September 15, also said he had been following the fighting in Lebanon and was praying every day that the country be spared further “useless massacres”.
He expressed support for the strongly worded appeals of Pope Benedict and the outgoing secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, both of whom have called for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon.
In the interview, the cardinal said he considered international lending by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and by richer countries as a form of usury that “should be declared illegal”.
He said loans become usury when they violate the right to life and other basic human rights.
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