Swiss Bishops Alarmed at Lack of Ethical Debate on Iraq War

Population Has Already Suffered Atrociously, Says Conference

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GENEVA, FEB. 5, 2003 ( The presidency of the Swiss Episcopal Conference warns that the debate on the ethics of an attack on Iraq has disappeared from the media.

«For several days now, in all the media, there is no longer a question about the advisability of a war against Iraq, but of the date of the start of hostilities,» a statement from the conference says today. «Worse yet: some are already speaking about the postwar.»

«We are alarmed by this kind of talk and we wish to recall with firmness our opposition to a war whose principal victims will be the civilian populations,» the bishops add.

«For years, the Iraqi people, most especially the children, have suffered atrociously from the consequences of the international embargo against that country,» they say. «Let us not martyr them still more, while all the ways of dialogue have not been exhausted and the danger that the Iraqi dictator poses has not been proved.»

«Moreover, we must be aware that a war against Iraq would ‘wound’ many Muslims and would certainly produce the contrary of the hoped-for effect, namely, a strong rise of the terrorist menace on the part of Muslim fanatics,» the bishops warn.

«We appeal to all believers of our country to redouble their prayers so that war will not break out and that common sense will triumph,» the Swiss bishops conclude.

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