Pope Voices Concerns About Holy Land Violence

VATICAN, Jan 21, 02 (CWNews.com) - During his Sunday Angelus audience on January 20, Pope John Paul II expressed new concern about the escalation of violence in the Holy Land.

"One more time, with great sorrow, I feel obliged to call attention to the tragic situation in the Holy Land, where repeated attacks and reprisals each day sow the seeds of blood and death," the Pontiff told a large audience of pilgrims assembled in St. Peter's Square under a light rain. "This perverse logic does not lead to any conclusion." He renewed his appeal to international leaders to work for a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The Holy Father spoke at greater length about the inter-religious day of prayer for peace, to be held in Assisi on Thursday, January 24. He said that mankind must come together in prayer in order to overcome "the risks of new conflicts" in the aftermath of September 11. "It is now urgent to intensify the prayer for peace," he said. He urged religious communities in particular to unite in prayer for peace on the appointed day.

Pope John Paul said that the inter-religious observance must not be understood as any sort of religious syncretism. Rather than minimizing differences on theological issues, he said, all religious groups must recognize that they hold in common a commitment to peace and justice. He argued that responsible religious leaders should "renounce and isolate those who employ the name of God for ends and activities that actually offend him."

The Pope also said that he felt "spiritually close" to the families suffering as the result of a volcanic eruption in the town of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Catholic World News Service - Daily News Briefs
21. januar 2002