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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Archbishop condemns US stance on Iraq
Dr George Carey
Dr Carey will step down at the end of October
The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has condemned possible plans to attack Iraq, believing such action would deepen the crisis of terrorism in the world.

He has made his most forthright comments yet on the possibility of a western attack on Iraq.

In an interview for Australian television, Dr Carey - who steps down as Archbishop at the end of October - also said he could see no reason for attacking Iraq at the moment.

Dr Carey is the latest in a long-line of churchmen to come out against the threat of force against Iraq, including the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

In his first public criticism of American policy, Dr Carey said he could see no grounds whatsoever for taking military action against Iraq.

He said it would be "shocking" if America "went in" without the backing of the United Nations.

Dr Rowan Williams
Dr Rowan Williams has been announced as the next Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr Carey added that the world still needed to be convinced that Saddam Hussein posed a real threat.

Dr Carey is spiritual leader of some 70 million Anglicans around the world, including the 2.3 million Anglicans who are members of the Episcopal church in the US.

Dilemma

His replacement, Dr Williams, made his position perfectly clear about a western attack on Iraq before his appointment, putting his name to an open letter condemning any such action as illegal and immoral.

Dr Carey's comments underline the dilemma facing George Bush - America's most openly religious president for years.

When he sent American forces to attack Afghanistan, he did so with at least the qualified backing of many religious thinkers in the States.

As he ponders the when and if of an attack on Iraq - he faces a very different moral environment.

A few voices have been raised in support of military action.

But around the world, many churchmen have come down against any attack on Iraq.


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13 Jul 02 | Politics
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