Monday, March 17, 2003

Pope Renews His Appeal For Peace

From Catholic News:

"The next days will be decisive for the outcome of the Iraq crisis," said the Pope, who prayed that "leaders on all sides be inspired with courage and long-range vision."

"Certainly, the leaders of Baghdad have the urgent duty to collaborate fully with the international community, to eliminate any reason for an armed intervention," the Pope said.

"To them I direct my pressing appeal: the fate of your fellow citizens always has priority!"

John Paul also said he wanted to remind UN member countries, and especially those which make up the Security Council, that "the use of force represents the last resort, after having exhausted every other peaceful solution, according to the well-known principles of the UN Charter."

"That is why, in the face of the tremendous consequences that an international military operation would have for the population of Iraq and for the equilibrium of the entire Middle East reason, already so tried, as well as for the extremism which could stem from it, I say to all: There is still time to negotiate; there is still room for peace."

The pontiff continued: "It is never too late to understand one another and to continue to deal with each other."