Friday, October 22, 2004

John Allen Receives a Mild Rebuke for His Speculation on Who the Vatican Supports for US President

From Cardinal Martino...

As reported in Allen's Word for Rome in NCR:

Your e-mail message, received here on 15 October, left me as confused as
the original article, published on 8 October. You wrote that your "analysis was
based on wide conversations with people at all levels, along with a reading of
the public record." And I have to wonder, "To whom did you speak, and what did
you glean from that 'public record?"

While I have made statements against the war in Iraq it would be
inappropriate for me, any member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
or any other official of the curia to make statements in favor or against any
particular political candidate.

I believe that your article did grave damage to the understanding of
your readers. They have been led to believe that certain offices and officials
within the Roman Curia have actually committed themselves to support one
candidate over the other. While I am certain that many have personal opinions
about particular candidates, these could never be an official reflection of or
interpreted as the position of all those who work within a certain congregation,
pontifical council or the Secretariat of State nor that of the offices
themselves.

To say that a particular office was more supportive of President Bush
or Senator Kerry is a sort of accusation that those working within an office
have taken sides in the partisan politics of the democratic process. Nothing
could be further from the truth, at least as far as this pontifical council is
concerned. At the same time, this pontifical council cannot and will not remain
silent in the face of positions taken or policies espoused by any politician or
political candidate, especially when those issues touch upon subjects that fall
within the competencies and responsibilities of the Council for Justice and
Peace.

As far as public statements are concerned, some issues may indeed
outweigh others. However, it must go without saying that the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace will never shrink from its responsibility to preach the
message of the Gospel or call attention to those situations in the world where
the tenants of justice and peace are violated.