End war's "senseless slaughter": Benedict
On holiday in Italy's Cadore mountains, a major theatre of World War I fighting, Pope Benedict called for an end to "senseless slaughter", recalling the condemnation by his predecessor Pope Benedict XV of the Great War.
AsiaNews reports that Pope Benedict has launched an appeal for the world to "tenaciously pursue the rule of law, to refute with determination any recourse to arms and the temptation to apply old systems to new realities".
"In these days of rest, I feel even more intensely the painful impact of the news I receive about bloody conflicts and violent events happening in so many parts of the world," the pope said.
"This leads me to reflect once again on the dramatic situation of human freedom in the world.
"The beauty of nature reminds us that we were instructed by God to cultivate and keep this garden that is the earth. If men lived in peace with God and with each other, the earth really would look like a 'heaven'", he continued.
"Unfortunately sin has ruined this divine project generating division and allowing death to enter this world. Thus men by succumbing to the temptations of Evil, make war with each other.
"The consequence is that in this stupendous garden which is the world, there is now room for hell. War, with its after effects of destruction and death, has always been rightly considered a calamity which contrasts God's project, who created everything to give life and who wants to make mankind one family."
According to the report, the pope re-evoked the appeal launched by Benedict XV 90 years ago on 1 August 1917, when he asked the nations at war to put an end to that inhuman conflict which he had the courage to define as a "senseless slaughter".
"This expression of Pope Benedict is carved into history", the present pope said.
"It was justified by the concrete situation of the summer of 1917, especially by what was taking place on this North Italian front. But those words 'senseless slaughter', contain a greater more prophetic value and can be applied to the many other conflicts which have cruelly broken countless lives.
"This very land where we find ourselves, which emanates peace and harmony, was a theatre of the First World War, as many testimonies and some moving Alpine songs still recall today.
"These events must not be forgotten! We must treasure the negative experiences which our fathers unfortunately had to suffer, so they will never happen again," Pope Benedict concluded.
Pope: an end to "senseless slaughter", God wants peace in the world (AsiaNews, 22/7/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Lorenzago di Cadore website (Italian)
Alpine Front (Wikipedia)
24 Jul 2007