This (to my knowledge) unconfirmed appointment was surprising to not a few, including myself, since I agree with the neophyte neocon defender, Christopher Hitchens and others, that Kissinger's involvement in the illegal and indiscrimnate carpet-bombing of Cambodia and Laos, during the Vietnam war, during which hundreds of thousands innocent civilians died constitutes a grave war crime (to say nothing of the Administration's averting its eyes when Pol Pot was later butchering more than a million people) for which he should be tried by the International Criminal Court. The US, however, has reportedly threatened any country which attempts to do so.
So I chalk this one up to an unwise decision but not one of any necessary consequence. The Register report reminds us that,
Pope John Paul II was close friends with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Polish-born national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, partly because both had a common Polish heritage (though this caused the Soviets to suspect the Vatican of “fixing” the election of Karol Wojtyla, which occurred during the Carter presidency).
In recent years, other figures invited to share their expertise with the Holy See have included Paul Wolfowitz, a former President Bush adviser and now president of the World Bank; Michel Camdessus, the former director of the International Monetary Fund; American economist Jeffrey Sachs and Hans Tietmeyer, former governor of Germany’s central bank.
We know all too well what the Vatican thinks of Wolfowitz's Iraq war and draconian economic globalization programs, but it is the Vatican habit to tap a wide array of opinion in weighty matters, as is only prudent even if this choice is regrettable, before coming to its own conclusions, which very often rankle its chosen consultants.
If being invited to tea and consultation at the Vatican were a telltale sign of Vatican leanings on any issue, the Chair of Peter would be presiding over a 3-ring circus instead of the universal Church which has condemned both American and Soviet aggression and made no bones about siding with the poor of this world against the insatiable powers and economic forces which threaten them.
And who knows? Maybe Kissinger, after witnessing the fate of Senor Pinochet, has used clandestine shuttle dipolmacy to seek sanctuary from the children of the millions of ghosts who cry out against him for war crimes. Let's hope that in the final analysis he will not receive that sanctuary but a trial---or, if it be possible, atonement through a Truth Commission such as we witnessed in South Africa under Bishop Desmond Tutu, wherein unspeakable crimes, confessed as such, can become transformed into wisdom and healing for the future. Many men in power are the victims of the propaganda and (especially military and national) myths of their times, even though they furthered the lies and crimes. Truth Commissions recognize that. Robert McNamara seems to understand this today. He wrote:
"We of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who participated in the decisions on Vietnam acted according to what we thought were the principles and traditions of this nation. We made our decisions in light of those values. Yet we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why. I