Pope 'doing everything' to stop Iraq war
Pope John Paul II has once again argued forcefully against military action in Iraq, demanding adherence to existing international agreements.
Speaking to the Vatican diplomatic corps, the Holy Father observed that humanity has been overcome by fear: "I have been personally struck by the feeling of fear which often dwells in the hearts of our contemporaries," he said.
This grim picture could be changed, the Pope argued, if world powers took "the proper steps".
He urged international leaders to "say Yes" to life, respect for law, and solidarity among nations; he exhorted them to "say No" to death, to selfishness, and to war.
Meanwhile the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Archbishop Renato Martino said the Pope is "truly very worried" about the events which could occur in the near future.
Pope John Paul II, he said, "is doing everything in his power", through prayer and public pleas to encourage government leaders to focus on diplomacy and international law in order to avoid a war in Iraq.
Catholic World News/The Universe
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
14 Jan 2003