Pope Calls for Day of Peace on March

Reuters, Feb. 23, 2003

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope John Paul, concerned that the world is being held hostage by the “logic of war,” called for a day of peace on March 5.

“The future of humanity should never be tied down by terrorism and the logic of war,” he said during his regular Sunday address.

“Never, never, never!” he reiterated forcefully from his window overlooking pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The 82-year-old pontiff called for a special day of peace and prayer on March 5, Ash Wednesday, to appeal to all sides to try to “resolve with pacific means” the current crisis.

A day after meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington’s staunchest ally in the Iraqi crisis, the pope said “the international community has lived with great apprehension due to the danger of a war which could upset the entire Middle East region.”

The Vatican has refused to bless a possible U.S.-led attack on Iraq, which it believes could unleash terrorism and lead to the killing of civilians.

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