Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 47 January 5 - 11, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
Urges End to 'Menacing Tensions' in 2003
By Shasta Darlington
CITY (Reuters) - Pope John Paul (news - web sites) Wednesday called for an end
to the "fratricidal and senseless" violence in the Middle East and
peaceful solutions to all tensions menacing the world in his first message of
Pope's New Year appeal for peace came as President Bush (news - web sites) made
a new pitch to drum up support for possible war on Iraq, warning that Baghdad
had the power to unleash economic chaos if given the chance to attack the United
the face of today's conflicts and the menacing tensions of the moment, yet again
I invite prayer to pursue pacific means for settlement," the Pope said
during his homily to celebrate the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace.
82-year-old Pontiff, looking a bit tired but speaking in a clear and forceful
voice, presided over the mass in St Peter's Basilica this year rather than
celebrating it, which would have required hours of standing and moving around.
Pope made no specific reference to the situation in Iraq but the Vatican (news -
web sites) has stressed that any attack against Iraq must have the approval of
the United Nations (news - web sites). The Pope
Special Appeal for MidEast Peace
The Pontiff made a special
appeal to end violence in the Middle East and the Holy Land.
"The dramatic and
persistant tension in which this region of the Middle East finds itself makes
more urgent the search for a positive solution to the fratricidal and senseless
conflict that has been bloodying it for too long," he said.
At least 1,755 Palestinians and
675 Israelis have been killed since a Palestinian revolt for statehood began in
September 2000 after peace talks stalled.
"Today, as in the past,
despite serious and repeated attempts to upset the peace and harmony of peoples
living together, peace is possible and necessary," he said, prompting an
unusual burst of applause in the basilica.
The Roman Catholic Church marks
its World Day of Peace each January 1.
Earlier this month, the Pope
sent a World Day of Peace message to governments and international
organizations, calling on world leaders to defuse the explosive situation in the
Middle East, saying they would be held accountable for their actions.
Later Wednesday during his
weekly Angelus address, the Pope reiterated that message before thousands of
faithful packed into St. Peter's Square on the first day of the year.
"How can I not once again
express the hope that those in positions of responsibility do everything
possible to find pacific solutions to the many tensions present around the
world, in particular, in the Middle East."