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Pope expresses pessimistic outlook for world peace

Two years after the September 11 attack on the United States, the world remains plagued by both violence and insecurity, with no sign of an end to major conflicts.

This was the Pope's assessment of the outlook for world peace expressed in a message to the St Egidio Community-sponsored 17th International Meeting of Prayer for Peace, which concludes today in Aachen, Germany.

"Unfortunately, along with the twin towers, many hopes for peace seem to have collapsed," he said. "When will all these conflicts come to an end? When will people be able to see a peaceful world?"

He said that the inaugural interfaith session of prayer for peace in Assisi in 1986 had "illumined in many souls the hope for peace".

But he noted that those hopes have been battered by the persistence of warfare. He made specific mention of the wars that continue to plague Africa and South America, afflicting some of the world's poorest countries, as well as the international scourge of terrorism.

He said: "During these years, too little has been invested to defend peace and sustain the dream of a world free of war. What has been preferred is the path of the development of special interests, wasting enormous riches in other ways - above all for military expenses."

Catholic World News

Pope says peace hopes fell along with Twin Towers (Reuters 8/9/03)
"Dialogue or Die," Says Sant'Egidio Founder (Zenit)
Aachen: Sant Egidio Community hosts international meeting for peace (Independent Catholic News)
Community of St Egidio
Aachen world peace meeting begins (DPA)

9 Sep 2003