Christ Weeps Over Wars and Terrorism, Says John Paul II

Meets with Members of Roman Curia

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2002 ( Christ weeps over the wars and terrorism that bloody the world, particularly in the Holy Land and the «forgotten conflicts,» says John Paul II.

The Pope reviewed the international scene through the eyes of Jesus when he met Saturday with the cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay people who work in the Roman Curia.

«How can one forget, first of all, the face of Christ that continues to have traces of pain, of genuine passion, because of the conflicts that bloody so many regions of the world and because of those that threaten to explode with renewed virulence?» the Pontiff asked during the traditional meeting.

«The situation of the Holy Land continues to be emblematic; however, other ‘forgotten’ wars are no less devastating,» he said. «Moreover, terrorism continues to harvest victims and to excavate further graves.»

«Before this horizon bathed in blood, the Church does not fail to make her voice heard and continues to raise her prayer,» the Holy Father said. He recalled the message launched by religious leaders together with him last Jan. 24 in Assisi: «Religions are at the service of peace.»

Then, recalling his visit to the Italian Parliament last month, the Pope emphasized that «the great challenge of a democratic state is the capacity to base its legislation on the recognition of the inalienable rights of man and on the mutual and generous cooperation of all in building the common good.»

He also echoed the 1942 Christmas message of Pope Pius XII, who spelled out principles that could serve to guide peoples in building a new national and international order, once the «horrendous catastrophe» of war ended.

«The years that have passed since then have done no more than confirm the wisdom of great horizons contained in these teachings,» John Paul II said. «How can one not hope for hearts to open, especially the hearts of young people, to accept those values to construct a future of authentic and lasting peace?»

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