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Pope urges release of French journalists

Filled with "sadness and concern" for the victims of violence around the world, Pope John Paul II made an "urgent call for an end to violence everywhere", at the end of today's general audience in the Paul VI Hall.

"It is with great sadness and concern," he said, "that I receive the grave news about the terrorist attacks in Israel and Russia where many people have died, defenseless and innocent victims."

"Also in the tormented country of Iraq the blind chain of violence has not yet been broken, which prevents a prompt return to civil coexistence. Added to the horror of the barbaric execution of twelve Nepalese citizens there is fear for the future of two French journalists who continue to be held hostage by kidnappers."

"I make an urgent call for an end to violence everywhere, as it is always unworthy of every good cause, and for the two French journalists to be treated with humanity and returned unharmed as soon as possible to their families," said the Pope.

"Today, September 1, is the anniversary of the invasion of Poland and the beginning of World War II, which plunged Europe and other continents into mourning. Thinking about those days, in this moment of grave and widespread tensions, let us ask God, Father of all men, for the precious gift of peace."

Pope urges release of French journalists, end of violence in Midle East, Russia (Catholic News Agency 1/9/04)

French journalists kidnapped in battle to end headscarf law (The Observer 29/8/04)
Pope appeals for an end to violence in Israel, Russia, and Iraq ( 1/9/04)
Idolatry is a temptation for all humanity, Pope says during general audience (Catholic News Agency 1/9/04)
Pope's prayer intentions for September focus on elderly and African church (Catholic News Agency 1/9/04)
Pope Participates in International Meeting of Catholic Action (Zenit 31/8/04)
4,500 Symbolic Meters for Peace in Loreto (Zenit 31/8/04)
Pope condemns wave of terrorism, says violence unworthy of any cause (Catholic News Service 1/9/04)
Pope says Christians must share how charity, God changed their lives (Catholic News Service 31/8/04)
Ailing Pope laments terrorist violence (Catholic World News 1/9/04)

2 Sep 2004