Scott Horton’s invaluable No Comment blog directs my attention to a pleasing fact: the longstanding opposition of Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican to much of America’s present foreign policy, including its abhorrent use of torture. In a Dec. 13, 2005 address marking the Vatican’s World Day of Peace (held every New Years Day), Pope Benedict stated that “International humanitarian law ought to be considered as one of the finest and most effective expressions of the intrinsic demands of the truth of peace. Precisely for this reason, respect for that law must be considered binding on all peoples.” As Cardinal Renato Martino further explained to reporters at the time, “Torture is a humiliation of the human person, whoever it is. The Church does not allow these means to extract the truth.”
Now, why haven’t otherwise devout U.S. Republicans gotten that message? Isn’t the 11th Commandment “Thou shalt NOT waterboard nor indefinitely imprison thy neighbour”? It isn’t? Maybe God figured he didn’t need to write that one down. Surely we couldn’t be that stupid and cruel.