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British Cardinal joins Archbishop of Canterbury in condemnation and prayer

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, described the war in Iraq as "wrong and evil" on Sunday as he urged members of his flock to pray for a swift end to the hostilities.

His words reflected the Pope's weekend condemnation of the military action as threatening the fate of humanity. The Holy Father's words were the culmination of his repeated criticism of US and British policy during the buildup to the war.

Interviewed on BBC Radio's Sunday program, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor refused to be drawn on whether Catholics should campaign vociferously against the war, saying they should act according to their consciences, but he added that soldiers needed to fight "in a proportionate way".

The cardinal and the archbishop signed a joint statement with Jewish and Muslim leaders last week calling for a swift, just and peaceful settlement to conflict throughout the Middle East.

The Guardian

BBC Radio 4 'Sunday' program | transcript | audio
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25 Mar 2003