Pope Says War in Iraq Threatens Fate of Humanity
22 Mar 2003, 20:20 UTC
Pope John Paul II says the war against Iraq is
the fate of
. It was the first
statement since the outbreak of U.S.-led hostilities against
Speaking to television journalists in the Vatican, the pope
said weapons can never solve the problems of mankind. At this
time, the pope said, it is ever more urgent to
, with a strong a decisive voice, that peace alone is the way
a more just and united society.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church said peace is a gift
of God and a humble and constant
The Vatican expressed its deep sorrow soon after the start
of bombing by U.S. forces. The Pope's words Saturday were his
first since the
of the war, which he described as a threat to the fate of humanity.
In recent weeks the 82-year-old
has spoken out strongly against the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq.
He made numerous calls for peace and for a
solution to the crisis. In his efforts to prevent a war he
personally to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and met with
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.
The pope has said there is no legal or moral
for military action and has expressed his concern that it will
harm relations between Christians and Muslims. In a
drive to try to
the conflict, the pope also dispatched Vatican
to Baghdad and Washington.
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