Vatican delegate in Libya criticizes Western bombing over civilian suffering

The Vatican's delegate in Tripoli is calling for a halt to NATO air strikes in Libya and for the West to negotiate with Moammar Gadhafi's government.

Monsignor Giovanni Martinelli's outspoken criticism of the human toll the war is taking has ***given the impression the Vatican's longtime apostolic vicar supported Gadhafi's 42-year regime. That was fueled further by his presence at Tuesday's funeral for Gadhafi's son***. [The Western free press]

Martinelli told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he is speaking in according to his own conscience but has taken inspiration from Pope Benedict XVI's own calls for diplomacy to prevail.

Despite the stridency of Martinelli's stance, the Vatican spokesman said the Holy See supports him and considers him an authoritative voice on the situation in Libya.

[Source: Associated Press, Vatican City, 04May11]

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