Vatican Diplomat Cardinal Pio Laghi Dead at 86

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Cardinal Pio Laghi, a Vatican diplomat who
tried to dissuade President George W. Bush from launching the 2003
invasion of Iraq, has died.

Vatican Radio says the 86-year-old Laghi died Saturday at a Rome

Pope John Paul II tapped Laghi, a former envoy to Washington, to meet with President Bush in 2003 on the eve of war. Laghi was trying to prevent what he said was a morally and legally unjustified invasion.

Laghi, who had been friendly with the Bush family, delivered a letter from John Paul and pressed Bush on whether he was doing everything to avert war.

Vatican Radio says Pope Benedict is expected to participate in a funeral service for Laghi on Tuesday in St. Peter's Basilica.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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