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Pope Says War in Iraq Threatens Fate of Humanity

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Pope Says War in Iraq Threatens Fate of Humanity
Sabina Castelfranco
Rome
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 Baghdad.

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 to 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 by men.

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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