John Paul II seeks halt to all wars during 2004 Olympics
John Paul II has called for a truce in all wars during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, suggesting the event offers "the possibility of a new experience of fraternity to vanquish hatred, to bring individuals and peoples closer".
The Holy Father made the statement on Monday as he received the credential letters of Christos Botzios, the new ambassador of Greece to the Vatican.
"For this occasion, I make an appeal for a lasting truce from all violence so that the peaceful spirit and healthy stimulus, proper to the founders of the Olympic Games, may spread in all areas of society and in all continents," he said.
"I hope that, in a perturbed and at times uncertain world, this sports event will be a joyful manifestation of everyone's belonging to the same human, fraternal and mutually supportive community," the Pope said.
Ambassador Botzios, 63, noted that the wish for peace had already been expressed jointly by John Paul II and Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos during the Pope's visit to Athens in May 2001.
Athens 2004 - official site
Pope Calls for Global Truce During Athens Olympics (Miami Herald - Reuters)
4 Sep 2002