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End the War, Risk Peace

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It is with great sadness and concern that the Catholic Bishops of Canada watch the conflict in the Middle East worsen. War never leads to peace. Terrorism is the blindest and most unacceptable attack against human life, too often directed against those who are innocent and defenceless. To sabotage peace is also an attack, against the dignity of the people trapped in the conflict, while the hesitations of the international community undermine the credibility of those very institutions that are supposed to promote and maintain peace.

This land that has become a battleground is nevertheless the Holy Land, a place sacred to three great monotheistic faiths. Both its peoples have the right to live in security and harmony, in mutual respect and recognition. They also have a need to be governed wisely, in order to bring irrational extremism and radical factions under control and to diminish the murderous acts of violence.

In his Easter message, Pope John Paul II declared that “nothing is resolved by war, it only brings greater suffering and death; nothing is resolved through reprisal and retaliation…. I ask you … to work so that peace may bring an end to the tragic sequence of atrocities and killings that bloody the Holy Land, in these very days plunged again into horror and despair.”

Already on 10 January 2002, when addressing the diplomatic corps, the Holy Father affirmed: “No one can remain indifferent to the injustice of which the Palestinian people have been victims for more than fifty years. No one can contest the right of the Israeli people to live in security. But neither can anyone forget the innocent victims who, on both sides, fall day after day under the blows of violence. Weapons and bloody attacks will never be the right means for making a political statement to the other side. Nor is the logic of the law of retaliation capable any longer of leading to paths of peace.”

We implore the Government of Canada to undertake the necessary initiatives for ending the war and risking peace in the Middle East, thus preventing a widening of the conflict and favouring a return to negotiations on the basis of United Nations resolutions as well as the Madrid and Oslo accords that held out so much hope for peace.

In union with Pope John Paul II, with all our force we echo his words, “Christian communities on every continent, with trepidation and hope … proclaim that Jesus is truly risen,” the Lord of peace.

+ Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V.
Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil
President
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops


For More Information Contact:
Deacon William Kokesch
Director, Communications Service

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, August 14 2006  
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