John Paul II Appeals for Peace in Holy Land

VATICAN CITY, MAR 13, 2002 (VIS) - At the close of today's general audience, the Pope greeted a group of representatives from the three monotheistic religions of the Holy Land who recently gathered in Alexandria, Egypt, where they issued the First Alexandria Declaration of the Religious Leaders of the Holy Land. Among those present were Rabbi Michael Melchior, deputy minister of foreign affairs of Israel; His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem and Sheikh Talal El Sider, minister of the Palestinian National Authority.

"We are all saddened," said the Pope, "by the daily instances of violence and death in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Our mission as men and women of religion impels us to pray for peace, to proclaim peace and to do everything in our power to help bring an end to the bloodshed.

"I reiterate the firm determination of the Catholic Church to work for a just peace. May Almighty God bless your efforts to foster reconciliation and trust between all the beloved people of the Holy Land."

13. mars 2002