Pope Tells World: Don't Resign Yourself to War
Sat February 8, 2003 07:57 AM ET
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope John Paul on Saturday urged the world not to resign itself to war in Iraq, saying a conflict could still be averted.
The 82-year-old pope, who will meet Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz on Friday, called for a redoubling of efforts to avert a conflict.
A Vatican source, meanwhile, said the Roman Catholic leader would meet later this month with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, most likely on February 18.
"We have to multiply efforts. We can't stop when faced with either terror attacks or the threats that are on the horizon. We should never resign ourselves, almost as if war is inevitable," the pope said.
In his remarks to Italy's Sant' Egidio peace group, the pope said the current moment was "marked by tensions and winds of war" and that humanity was being tempted by "hate and violence."
He called on all people to take up a path that leads to peace, dialogue and hope.
The Vatican has been on a collision course with the United States over an eventual attack on Iraq. The Holy See has refused to call an eventual conflict a so-called "just war."
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