Tells Israel to back off:

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican on Friday strongly deplored Israel’s strikes on Lebanon, saying they were “an attack” on a sovereign and free nation.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano said Pope Benedict and his aides were very worried that the developments in the Middle East risked degenerating into “a conflict with international repercussions.”

“In particular, the Holy See deplores right now the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and assures its closeness to these people who already have suffered so much to defend their independence,” he told Vatican Radio.

What chiefly interests me about this is, come November, whether all those pious Catholic Republicans who vote with the Bush administration because they believe their God mandates they stand against abortion will remember this in the slightest.

And whether the national press will follow every Senator who favors Israel’s actions down the aisles every Sunday, to see if they still take Communion.