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Vatican: Gaddafi’s death marks end of ‘harsh and oppressive regime’

By on Friday, 21 October 2011

Gaddafi ruled Libya for 40 years (Photo: PA)

Gaddafi ruled Libya for 40 years (Photo: PA)

The Vatican has said the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi marked the end of a “harsh and oppressive regime” that was based on power instead of human dignity.

It expressed hope that the bloodshed would end in the North African country, and that the new Libyan government would open a rebuilding phase based on “a spirit of inclusion” and social justice.

The statement was issued by the Vatican press office several hours after Gaddafi was reported killed in his home town of Sirte, where he had been barricaded with loyalist troops. His death came after months of bloody civil strife and NATO airstrikes in support of Libyan rebels.

The Vatican said the Libyan conflict had been “too long and tragic” and should prompt reflection on the “cost of immense human suffering” that accompanies the collapse of systems not founded on respect for human rights.

It encouraged the new Libyan government to try to prevent further violence caused by a spirit of revenge and to begin a programme of pacification. The international community, it said, should provide generous aid toward the reconstruction of the country.

For its part, the minority Catholic community in Libya will continue to offer “its witness and its unselfish service, especially in the areas of charity and health care”, it said. The Vatican said it would work in favour of the Libyan people in the international diplomatic arena.

The statement said the Vatican considers the transitional government as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. The Vatican, it said, has already had various contacts with the new authorities in Libya, through the Libyan Embassy to the Vatican, at the United Nations and in Libya.

It said the apostolic nuncio to Libya, who resides in Malta, had gone to Libya for talks in early October with the provisional prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, and other officials.

“In these diverse encounters, both sides underlined the importance of the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Libya. The Holy See had the opportunity to renew its support for the Libyan people and its support for the transition,” the Vatican said.

The officials of Libya’s new government have expressed appreciation for the humanitarian appeals of Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church’s service in Libya, in particular the work of 13 religious communities in hospitals or assistance centres.

  • Anonymous

    very interesting though,  I thought the Church was going to condemn the killing of Gaddaffi…, some people feel that the man deserved a fair trial…

  • ms Catholic state

    It’s amazing the Vatican has not condemned the killing of Gaddaffi in this manner……it must have something to do with the fact that the perpetrators are Muslims.  Sad.

  • JamesC

    Oh dear, you are full of anti-Catholic rhetoric based on popular myths and misconceptions, many of which fly around on the Internet.  If you read the Vatican statement properly, you will find that it did not in any condone or approve the killing of Gaddafi, nor say it was unwarranted, it merely reported on the facts of his death.  It didn’t want to speculate on the exact ethics of the situation, given that it was effectively a war situation and the reports of whether it was crossfire or deliberate killing are conflicting.  I am sure, however that the private view of the Vatican’s bishops and cardinals is that Gaddafi deserved a fair trial but that is not what happened in this case.  I don’t see what it has to do with Islam at all, after all the perpretator and victim in this case are all Muslim.  You should keep your stupid prejudices “ms Catholic state” at home and not on this Catholic website.  You obviously have little idea of what “Catholic” or “state” are anyway.

  • ms Catholic state

    LOL…judgemental much!!  I regard myself as a Catholic in good standing….if that is not too presumptious of me. 

    And the Vatican should fearlessly take up its God given role as humanity’s moral leader….and show the world the right way…. using occasions such as this.  Because if they don’t….some little secular organisation is going to do it instead.  And what a humiliation that will be.

  • Siobhan

    Good for you, I think you are spot on. This was a barbaric murder, no doubt this man did much wrong but he was a human and the Vatican owed it to Catholics and the world at large to say that his murder was wrong. I think you are right, kid gloves are used when muslims are involved and it is doing no one any good.

  • JamesC

    No, I wasn’t being judgmental but pointing out the fullness of the Catholic truth and faith.  It seems that the people moderating this website have no genuine Catholic faith as several of my comments have been deleted now for no apparent reason.  Are there any genuine Catholics here or not?  No backbone.

  • Larry Silverstein

    The Papacy is a daughter of the Whore of Babylon aka Talmudic Judaism. 

    The “god” they worship is Mammon. 

    The center of their activity is the City of London, which is their present Temple.

     Soon they will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem for Anti-Christ.

    What is laughable is that both the Papacy & Islam forbid USURY, so that the Whore could have complete control of the money. Talmudic Judaism, the Papacy & Islam are the UNHOLY TRINITY of anti-Christ. 

  • Anonymous

    True Gaddafi was a harsh dictator who permitted torture and killings of the innocent. But up until three years ago, this man was coveted by world leaders and was a standard bearer for the African cause. On top of this, who knows who will replace him and what his or her political stance might be? I personally believe he deserved a fair trial which let’s admit it is usually proof sound democracy.
    The Vatican is simply stating what the regime under Gaddafi was : harsh and oppressive. But this being said, I do think that the Holy See should be cautious in its approach to the transitional government.
    However, on a personal basis and as a Catholic trying to do his best, I would revert to one of the commandments given to us by God : 
    “Thou shalt not kill.”

  • Anonymous

    Re: condemning the killing of Gaddafi. We don’t know for certain (with the emphasis on ‘for certain’) how he died. You can’t condemn if you don’t know the facts.
    I regret that he wasn’t brought to trial and I hope he wasn’t summarily shot.

  • Anonymous

    My earlier comment seems to have got lost so here goes:

    We don’t know exactly how Gaddafi died – I would stress the word “exactly” here. You can’t condemn if you don’t know the facts.

    I regret that he wasn’t brought to trial and I hope he wasn’t summarily shot.

  • Cheneep

    One turn deserves another. Hopefully the pope will receive the same fate as Muammar Gaddaffi.

  • Bob Hope

    Many Popes were harsh dictators who permitted torture and killings of  innocent Christians, who didn’t believe Roman dogma & doctrine! 
    And they called themselves VICAR OF CHRIST instead of VICAR OF SATAN!