Philippines archbishop warns against Australia's 'pre-emptive strikes'
An archbishop in the Philippines has warned that the pre-emptive strikes against terrorists envisaged by Australian prime minister John Howard, would kill innocent people and could spark wars that would destabilise Asia.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan said John Howard's reported proposal to amend the United Nations Charter to allow such strikes is "somehow understandable but definitely not acceptable."
Archbishop Cruz wrote that the pre-emptive strike proposal is "repugnant to the sovereignty of nations, dangerous to the stability of Asia and destructive of regional if not global peace."
The strikes would turn Asia into a "pitiful" region and the world into a "dangerous" place", the Philippine Church leader cautioned.
Malaysia, Philippines slam Howard's preemptive strike talk (Sydney Morning Herald 2/12/02)
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
Archbishop Oscar Cruz (catholic-hierarchy.org)
COMMISSION CALLS WAR A 'VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS'
The right to life, the most fundamental human right, is violated when war occurs, warned the Melbourne Archdiocesan Commission for Justice Development and Peace.
In a statement released yesterday, CEO Marc Purcell said Australia's Federal Parliament should be ready to be recalled from the Christmas recess to fully debate the morality and justification for such a deployment.
He said: "As pressure mounts for an invasion of Iraq, the Australian public ought to be wary of any calls to arms which would result in the killing of innocent civilians in Iraq."
"A full public discussion about committing forces is critical," Mr Purcell maintains.
He called on Australians to maintain a skeptical attitude towards war propaganda, "which leads conflict and results in the killing of human beings."
Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace (Melbourne)
International Human Rights Day, Tuesday 10 December 2002, Launch of the Australian Human Rights Register (CCJDP)
POPE ENTRUSTS WORLD PEACE TO VIRGIN MARY
During a traditional homage for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, John Paul II entrusted to Mary's hands the peace of the world.
"Pray, O Mother, for all of us. Pray for humanity that suffers poverty and injustice, violence and hatred, terror and war," the Pope said in a strong voice when he delivered the meditation he composed for today's occasion.
Before the 30-meter-high (100 foot) bronze statue of the Immaculate Conception in Rome's Piazza di Spagna, the Holy Father, wearing his red cape, continued praying to the Virgin: "Help us to contemplate with the holy rosary the mysteries of him who 'is our peace,' so that we will all feel involved, in a specific effort of service for peace."
The Holy Father then prayed for the Middle East. "Look with special attention upon the land in which you gave birth to Jesus, a land that you loved together and that is still so tried today."
"Pray for us, Mother of hope! Give us days of peace, watch over our way. Let us see your Son full of joy in heaven," he added.
10 Dec 2002