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Pope says God sides with victims

Pope John Paul has said that God watches over each person and all peoples, intervening to save those who are oppressed and to judge those who do evil.

"God is present in history, taking the part of the just and of victims," he told his weekly general audience on Wednesday - Human Rights Day - as he continued a series of talks about the psalms and canticles used in the church's evening prayer.

Focusing on the Book of Revelation, he said: "Our prayer must invoke and give praise for divine action, for the effective justice of the Lord and for his glory obtained with his triumph over evil."

Meanwhile, Vatican representative at the UN Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said people must pressure their governments to respect international humanitarian law, despite the need to meet the threat of terrorism.

"In the effort to contain and overcome a wave of intolerable and unbearable violence," he told an international conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, "The temptation emerges to have recourse to methods of fighting not always respectful of the juridical rules adopted by the international community to ban war as a means to settle disputes".

Archbishop Tomasi said modern warfare often has included violations of the pledge to protect human dignity.

Pope, at audience, says God intervenes in history to save oppressed (Catholic News Service) 10/12/03
Vatican official says humanitarian law must be respected even in war (Catholic News Service)

General Audience of John Paul II (10/12/03)
God Sides With the Just and Victimized, Says John Paul II (Zenit 10/12/03)
Japanese bishops oppose deployment of Japanese troops to Iraq (Catholic News Service) 10/12/03
Death-row prisoners in Uzbekistan denied right to clergy (Forum 18/Catholic World News 11/12/03)

12 Dec 2003