The Vatican is deeply concerned over the military operation against Iraq, the press service of the Holy See said.
Cardinal Pio Laghi who had conducted a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush and handed him the Pope's address several weeks before described Iraqi bombardment as "a tragedy and catastrophe." Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, whom John Paul the Second had sent to Iraq with an address to Saddam Hussein, said that "he is deeply worried and concerned about the situation." According to cardinal Roberto Tucci, a war against Iraq had been planned by the USA long before the results of UN inspectors' activities were made public.
A source in the Vatican said that Pope John Paul the Second spent this morning praying for Iraq and its citizens.