Touchy, Touchy

Surfing around, I see that folks are up in arms about the Holy Father's urbe et orbe message for Easter this year. Or rather, they're upset with this line:
...nothing positive comes from Iraq...
Michael Novak and Fr. Neuhaus have responded, both with valid things to say, but in the end I'm not quite sure what the fuss is. The headlines scandalized me when I first read them, but once I read the text it became unobjectionable. The Pope was speaking of St. Thomas, and how doubt can serve the spiritual purpose of purifying false concepts of God. He then went into a litany of the reasons we may have to doubt today --the seemingly hopeless situations in the world, of which Iraq was merely one in a pitifully long series. The pope's purpose was threefold: to assure the faithful living in strife-torn areas that they aren't forgotten; and then both to address in what sense Christians can believe in Christ when the Resurrection has brought no end to human suffering, and to point out where hope lies. Did he say Iraq or any of these situations were in fact hopeless? On the contrary, he said
Dear Brothers and sisters, through the wounds of the Risen Christ we can see the evils which afflict humanity with the eyes of hope.
What would folks have had him say? That our hope stands or falls with the success of "the surge"? I hope with all my heart for its success, and I think need not persuade regular readers that I was in favor of the Iraq invasion in the first place, and have been a consistent "booster" of it, if that's the term. But my help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth, not from American military might, rightly or otherwise used! And that's what the Pope was saying --that there is no human heart or situation so dark that it can't be permeated by the light of Christ:

In fact, by his rising the Lord has not taken away suffering and evil from the world but has vanquished them at their roots by the superabundance of his grace. He has countered the arrogance of evil with the supremacy of his love. He has left us the love that does not fear death, as the way to peace and joy. “Even as I have loved you– he said to his disciples before his death – so you must also love one another” (cf. Jn 13:34).

Brothers and sisters in faith, who are listening to me from every part of the world!Christ is risen and he is alive among us. It is he who is the hope of a better future. As we say with Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”, may we hear again in our hearts the beautiful yet demanding words of the Lord: “If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him” (Jn 12:26).

United to him and ready to offer our lives for our brothers (cf. 1 Jn 3:16), let us become apostles of peace, messengers of a joy that does not fear pain – the joy of the Resurrection.

I don't see what is so surprising about the Pope contrasting the bad news we hear all the time with the Good News! I must add, too, that if we're going to read a religious message politically, then while everyone's busy being stung (or jubilant as the case may be) by his words about Iraq, they should also note his remark that humanity still suffers from many wounds, including not only natural disasters, hunger and disease, but
terrorism and kidnapping of people, of the thousand faces of violence which some people attempt to justify in the name of religion, of contempt for life, of the violation of human rights and the exploitation of persons.

Seems to me that's a much sterner rebuke to Islamofascists and abortionists than it is to President Bush. If we're going to read the statement politically. Which we aren't.

Update: My commenter suggests we Westerners are going all Regensberg on the Pope!
Update 2: Christopher Blosser has a wonderful, balanced round-up on the matter.