Prelates of Jerusalem, Sarajevo and Baghdad Call for Peace

Warn of Consequences of War

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JERUSALEM, FEB. 25, 2003 ( The Latin-rite patriarch of Jerusalem, the archbishop of Sarajevo, and the patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans joined their voices to the Pope’s in a plea for peace in Iraq.

«At this hour of international concern, we all feel the need to turn to the Lord to implore the great gift of peace,» they said in a message dated Sunday.

«Peace is the only path to be taken; it is the obligatory direction,» stressed Latin-rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem; Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Sarajevo; and Patriarch Raphael Bidawid of Babylon of the Chaldeans, in Iraq.

«We, who have lived or are still living the tragedy of war, want to say to the whole world, especially to the powerful of the earth: Do not enter the path of war, because it has no way out,» they warned.

«Christ is our peace. The Gospel of peace must enlighten our hearts and direct our choices so that they will be a total rejection of violence and war,» they said.

They added: «If war is destruction and death, no less tragic are the consequences that a war inevitably entails: divisions, hatreds and many refugees.»

The prayer meetings that are being held throughout the world give the leaders of these Churches a reason for hope, "hope in God who always listens to the prayer of the little ones, the poor and the defenseless.»

«Do not leave us alone, because today the world needs to build this hope,» they concluded.

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