Comboni Missionaries Decry Violence at G-8 Summit

ROME, JULY 25, 2001 ( The Comboni missionaries have published a note dissociating themselves from the violence at the Group of Eight summit in Genoa.

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Father Francesco Antonini, superior general of the Comboni missionaries, said in a statement Tuesday that «the Comboni missionaries of the Italian Province … firmly condemn the provocations of some extremist groups that, by their violence, have seriously compromised the peaceful protests of hundreds of thousands of people.»

At the same time, the Comboni missionaries call the attention «of the competent authorities to the behavior, and perhaps mindless […] violence of the forces of order, which contributed to amplify the spiral of violence.»

One protester was killed by security forces and scores of others were injured during demonstrations at the G-8 summit of leaders of the major industrialized nations and Russia.

Along with a coalition of more than 250 missionary and religious congregations, who prayed and fasted to request the cancellation of the debt of impoverished countries, «the Comboni missionaries request that the episodes of violence be clarified, identifying all those responsible,» the statement reads.

The missionaries support «the petition of the ´Genoa Social Forum´ for a parliamentary investigation commission, to look into the events,» and believe it is necessary that the Forum itself, whose condemnations of violence have not always been clearly seen by public opinion, to undertake a process of self-criticism, so that nonviolence will be unequivocally recognized as the only method of struggle.»

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