The Australian Catholic Bishops have said that the crisis in Kosovo "can be solved only by negotiation and a return to civilised dialogue between the warring parties." They echo the words of Pope John Paul II: "Answering violence with violence is never the way to get out of a crisis. What must be done is to silence arms and acts of vengeance in order to undertake negotiations" leading to a peace agreement respectful "of different peoples and cultures".
    In a statement released earlier this week, they also congratulated the Australian government for its offer to receive several thousand of these people. "Should this eventually lead to the arrival of the refugees, we urge the authorities to ensure that they are given the best possible welcome to our shores, seeing to it, for example, that families are kept together and that the new arrivals are treated as honoured guests should be."
    The Bishops also praised the generosity of Australians contributing to appeals for those suffering deprivation in the Balkans. "Our own Church's overseas aid agency, Caritas Australia, has launched an emergency appeal for this purpose. Finally, we call on the Catholics of Australia to unite in prayer that peace will soon return to the troubled region and that peoples of diverse races and religions will abandon desires for revenge and will live together in the homes of their own choice in harmony and a spirit of forgiveness."

12:19pm 13/4/99 / Aust Cath Bishops' Conf


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