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Bishop Power to urge Bush to be less aggressive

Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power will speak at Thursday's protest rally to be held while US President George Bush arrives at Parliament House.

He said he wants to make a positive appeal to President Bush to be "a builder of peace in the world".

"We should be having a war on poverty rather than a war on terror," he said.

Other speakers include Greens leader Bob Brown, Labor's Carmen Lawrence and former security analyst Andrew Wilkie.

Bishop Power believes that, far from solving the problem of terrorism, the actions of the US and the West since September 11 have worsened the situation. He said the US should be concentrating on finding a solution to the Middle East problems, he said.

"The West has been very one sided in its efforts to try and find a solution to the Middle East conflict," the Bishop said.

He wanted from President Bush "a sign that we are people of goodwill" and the aggressive rhetoric dropped.

The Bishop was unaware of being criticised for speaking at such rallies with those holding more radical views than his.

He hoped to be a "voice of moderation" at the rally. But it was important to engage in contemporary debates about important issues, he said.

Meanwhile in the Philippines, former Bishops Conference President Archbishop Oscar Cruz said President Bush's weekend visit to his country was full of promises "but there is no guarantee that the country could get much support" in areas outside of fighting terrorism.

"Those promises were all based on self-interest and not out of kindness and generosity," Archbishop Cruz said.

The Age

Bush to justify Iraq war to parliament (AAP/
Thousands Protest Bush's Philippines Trip (Associated Press)
Philippine Lawmakers Welcome Bush Pledge of Support (Voice of America)

21 Oct 2003