Pope Decries Levels of "Intolerable" Violence in Holy Land

Fallout of Sept. 11 Lingers, He Tells Members of Papal Foundation

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 8, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed again his concern over the «unimaginable and intolerable levels» of violence in the Holy Land.

The international panorama offers «compelling evidence of just how desperately mankind stands in need of God´s grace and peace,» he said today.

The Holy Father was addressing about 60 members of the Papal Foundation, a U.S. institution created in 1990 by the then archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal John Krol. The foundation collects funds annually to support the Pope´s charitable endeavors.

«The dire consequences of the tragic events of Sept. 11 are still with us,» the Pope said when he received the U.S. pilgrims. «The spiral of violence and armed hostility in the Holy Land — the land of the Lord´s birth, death and resurrection — a land held sacred by the three monotheistic religions, has increased to unimaginable and intolerable levels.»

«Throughout the world, innocent men, women and children continue to suffer the ravages of war, poverty, injustice and exploitation of all kinds,» John Paul II continued.

«Indeed, we are currently experiencing a very difficult international situation, but the Lord´s victory and his promise to remain with us until the end of the world are beacons of light beckoning us to meet the challenge before us with courage and trust,» the Holy Father said.

The Pope thanked the Papal Foundation which, through the generosity of many, «enables needed works to be carried out in the name of Christ and his Church.»

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