Pope Meets Founder of Group That Aids Civilian Victims of War

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 11, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II met briefly with Italian physician Gino Strada, founder of Emergency, a group that specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of victims of antipersonnel mines.

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The Pope also met today with the non-governmental organization’s president, Teresa Sarti, and the Comboni Missionaries’ vicar general, Father Venanzio Milani.

The meeting took place at the end of the general audience in which John Paul II commented on a canticle of the prophet Jeremiah, a lament of the people in time of famine and war.

The three representatives gave the Pope a letter written by the founder of Emergency.

«For every man, believer or nonbeliever, human life must be sacred,» Strada wrote in his letter to the Pope. «I am writing you to ask for your help so that, with your moral authority, the voice of peace and the Christian and human imperative not to kill, will be heard once again.»

Emergency, begun in Milan in 1994, is composed of medical and technical personnel who provide medical, surgical and rehabilitation assistance in war zones during or after conflicts.

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