Papal Message to Bishops of Pakistan

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2001 ( Here is the text of a message from John Paul II to bishops of the Pakistani episcopal conference.

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The president of the Pontifical Council «Cor Unum,» Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, is visiting the war region today through Oct. 30, at the Pope´s request.

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To my Venerable Brothers
of the Pakistan Episcopal Conference

At this time of such grave concern for the dramatic events taking place in your part of the world, I have asked Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council «Cor Unum», to visit you and to convey to you the assurance of my closeness in prayer. I implore the Father of all mercies to keep you and your communities safe, and to inspire in you sentiments of wisdom and courage in facing the challenges of this hour of trial.

United as we are in the Church´s universal solidarity with all the world´s peoples, we must ardently hope and pray that the bright star of peace may soon shine again over your region. In the meantime, the sufferings of countless men, women and children cry out for practical relief. In particular, the painful situation of the many refugees call[s] for immediate efforts on the part of all those who are in a position to help.

Archbishop Cordes will examine with you the concrete possibilities open to the Church in Pakistan of assisting our brothers and sisters in need. I will support your efforts with my prayers, and I bless you and the faithful with all my heart. May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (cf. Phil 4:7).

From the Vatican, 22 October 2001

[Original text: English; distributed by Vatican Press Office]

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