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Pope seeks end to attacks on Palestinian authority

Pope John Paul II has appealed to Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (pictured) for a suspension of Israeli aggression that has further diminished hopes for peace for the region.

The Holy Father is worried about the serious attack on the headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority where it is besieging Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls said Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent the message on behalf of the Holy Father.

He said: "[Sodano] has sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asking, in the name of the Holy Father, for a suspension of such actions which compromise the already slender hopes for peace in that region, and expressing hope for an immediate resumption of dialogue between the parties in reciprocal respect and mutual understanding.

"At the same time, the cardinal secretary of state assured President Arafat, at this sad hour for the Palestinian people and the National Authority, of the closeness of His Holiness John Paul II, and his own closeness, while repeating that the Holy See will continue its commitment for the defense of the right of all peoples to live in peace with secure borders and in a climate of mutual respect."

Vatican Information Service


The Pontifical Council for Social Communications announced yesterday that the theme chosen by John Paul II for the World Day of Communications 2003 is "The Communications Media at the Service of Authentic Peace in the light of 'Pacem in Terris'."

Archbishop John P. Foley (pictured), president of the Council, said that the "theme chosen by the Holy Father reflects the importance of the media in promoting authentic peace, based on truth, justice and love, as Blessed John XXIII indicated in his famous encyclical letter of 1963, 'Pacem in Terris'."

The World Day of Communications is celebrated in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost at the suggestion of bishops from all over the world. In 2003, it falls on 1 June.

Vatican Information Service

Pontifical Council for Social Communications

25 Sep 2002