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Pope Calls for End to Vortex of Violence In Israel

Pope Calls for an End to "Vortex of Violence" in Holy Land


VATICAN CITY, JUNE 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II encouraged the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and called for an end to the "vortex of violence and reprisals."

"'There is no peace without justice; there is no justice without forgiveness," the Pope said. "Addressing all the inhabitants of the Holy Land, I remind them of this again today with greater conviction."

He made his comments when greeting the several thousand people who gathered in St. Peter's Square today before the praying of the Angelus. The Holy Father recalled the past week of violence in the Holy Land that resulted in 60 deaths and threatened the "road map" for peace.

Both sides run the risk of being caught in "an endless vortex of violence and reprisals," the Pope warned.

For this reason, he exhorted "the international community not to tire of helping Israelis and Palestinians to rediscover the meaning of man and of fraternity, to build their future together."

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Pleas on Trinity Sunday
John Paul II Focuses on World's Refugees and on the Holy Land

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. On this Sunday, which follows Pentecost, we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Unity and Trinity of God is the primary mystery of the Catholic faith. With it we arrive at the end of the whole unfolding of revelation, which was fulfilled in Jesus: in his incarnation, passion, death and resurrection. From the summit of the holy mountain, which is Christ, is contemplated the first and last horizon of the universe and of history: the Love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God is not solitude but perfect communion. From God, who is communion, derives the vocation of the whole of humanity to form one great family, in which the different races and cultures meet and are mutually enriched (see Acts 17:26).

2. In the light of this universal horizon of communion, every situation in which human individuals or groups are constrained to flee from their own land to find refuge elsewhere, stands out as a grave offense to God and to man. We are reminded of this by the annual World Refugee Day, which will be observed next Friday, June 20, and which this year invites us to focus on the reality of refugee youths.

Almost half the refugees in the world are children and youths. Many of them do not go to school; they lack essential goods; they live in refugee camps or even in detention.

The drama of refugees exacts from the international community a commitment not only to address the symptoms but above all the causes of the problem: that is, to prevent the conflicts by promoting justice and solidarity in every realm of the human family.

3. We now turn to the Virgin Mary, and contemplate her as a wonderful creature of the Most Holy Trinity: "the limit fixed of the eternal counsel," as the great poet Dante Alighieri sings ("Paradiso" XXXIII, 3). We ask her to help the Church, mystery of communion, always to be a hospitable community, where every person, especially the poor and marginalized, may find welcome and support.

[After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father addressed the pilgrims in Italian as follows:]

Once again, there have been days of blood and death for the inhabitants of the Holy Land, caught in an endless vortex of violence and reprisals.

I would like to repeat to all the appeal already made so often in the past: "There is no peace without justice, there is no justice without forgiveness." Addressing all the inhabitants of the Holy Land, I remind them of this again today with greater conviction.

Moreover, I exhort the international community not to tire of helping the Israelis and Palestinians to rediscover the meaning of man and of fraternity, to build their future together.

May the Most Holy Virgin intercede for us all, so that God will make us "instruments of his peace."

[Translation by ZENIT]
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