"Nothing is Lost with Peace - Everything Can be Lost with War."

Bishops of Eritrea and Ethiopia Appeal for Dialogue

VATICAN CITY, JUN 10, 1998 (VIS) - Made public today was a message written and signed by the 13 prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea, appealing for dialogue between the two countries in the face of renewed tensions.

The English-language message, dated June 7, Pentecost Sunday, according to the Ethiopian calendar, was entitled "Nothing is Lost with Peace - Everything Can be Lost with War." Following are excerpts:

"We, the Catholic bishops of Ethiopia and Eritrea ... have been deeply saddened by reports of tensions and the news of armed conflicts between our two countries."

"In our Pastoral Letter of 1991, we expressed our joy that the long war was over. ... We (also) wrote in 1991 that 'the newly gained peace and reconciliation should be the beginning of a new chapter of our history so that the principle of war may be definitively relegated to the sad history of our past'."

"After 30 years of devastating war and only seven years of peace, recent reports of an armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea have come as a complete surprise to the world and, above all, to our peoples who were beginning to forget the scars of their past history and were fully engaged in building up the economic structures of their respective countries."

"In union with Pope John Paul II we reaffirm that the Church never ceases to implore each side in any conflict to dialogue. In the name of God and in the name of humanity, the Church begs everyone not to kill, not to foster the extermination of men, women and children, but rather to think of the brothers and sisters who are suffering hunger and misery, and to respect each person's dignity and freedom."

av Webmaster publisert 10.06.1998, sist endret 10.06.1998 - 15:44