Pope condemns torture as affront to humans
Pope John Paul II yesterday condemned torture as an intolerable affront to human dignity, lamenting that reports of abuses "constantly arrive from all continents".
The Holy Father made no mention of any countries or specific cases in his speech to seven new ambassadors to the Holy See.
On 4 June, John Paul is scheduled to meet with President Bush, whose administration is under heavy criticism for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by the US military at Abu Ghraib prison. Several Vatican cardinals have already assailed the abuse.
In his speech, the pope said that "disturbing news constantly arrives from all continents concerning the human rights situation, showing how men, women and children are tortured and how their dignity is profoundly offended, contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
"In this way, all humanity suffers injury and contempt," the pope said, urging that "all men and women of good will" work to ensure that human rights are respected.
"As all human beings are our brothers, we cannot remain quiet in the face of these intolerable abuses," he said.
The pope met with the ambassadors from Suriname, Sir Lanka, Mali, Yemen, Zambia, Nigeria and Tunisia.
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28 May 2004