Pope insists peace remains possible
Stressing that peace remains possible, Pope John Paul II has said the war against terror must be waged on both political and educational fronts, and include clear analysis of the reasons behind terrorist attacks.
In his message for 1 January's World Day of Peace, he addressed leaders of nations, jurists, teachers of the young and those tempted to turn to terrorism, in a statement titled An ever timely commitment: teaching peace.
"All of you, hear the humble appeal of the Successor of Peter who cries out: today too, at the beginning of the New Year 2004, peace remains possible. And if peace is possible, it is also a duty," he said.
The Pope warned against the temptation to yield to fatalism, as if peace were an unattainable ideal.
"The Church, on the other hand, has always taught and continues today to teach a very simple axiom: peace is possible," he said.
The message focuses on the scourge of terrorism, saying that the use of force is not the sole answer in combating terrorist operations.
"It is essential that the use of force, even when necessary, be accompanied by a courageous and lucid analysis of the reasons behind terrorist attacks," the Pope said.
"The fight against terrorism must be conducted also on the political and educational levels."
Particular attention must be paid to eliminating the underlying causes of situations of injustice and to insisting on an education inspired by respect for human life in every situation.
The Pope said international law was also crucial in the fight against terrorism.
Peace remains possible: Pope John Paul II (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 16/12/03)
Message of his holiness Pope John Paul II for the celebration of the World Day of Peace - 1/1/04 - An ever timely commitment: Teaching peace
Law of the Market Is Not Enough, Insists Pope (Zenit 15/12/03)
Pope Urges Respect for International Law (Associated Press/Yahoo 16/12/03)
Pope scopes Mel's 'Passion' in preview (Variety/Yahoo 15/12/03)
Overcoming inequality is key to economic development, pope says (Catholic News Service 15/12/03)
Pope calls for UN expansion to combat terrorism, uphold international law (Catholic World News 16/12/03)
Cultural Bias Has No Place in Church, Says Pope (Zenit 15/12/03)
"The serpent's head has been crushed: Our fears are finally over" (AsiaNews.it 15/12/03)
Iraqi bishop sees "serpent's head crushed" (Catholic World News/AsiaNews 15/12/03)
Finding Saddam, losing Mazen (National Catholic Reporter 15/12/03)
Patty Fawkner SGS, Director of Uniya, comments on the treatment of Saddam Hussein (Unia Jesuit Social Justice Centre 15/12/03)
"The Only Possibility for Freedom": Iraqi bishop says Iraq needs the Coalition (National Review Online/Zenit 9/12/03)
Bishop Rabban Al-Qas (catholic-hierarchy.org)
17 Dec 2003