Anti-Semitism Returning to "Old Europe," Says Cardinal Etchegaray

Fight Against Terrorism Can’t Be Limited to Force, He Adds

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 23, 2003 ( The «fatal plague» of terrorism and the «return of anti-Semitism in our Old Europe» are two of the challenges facing the world, says Cardinal Roger Etchegaray.

«Nothing is more difficult … to combat than terrorism. It is a word of the emotional vocabulary and a juridical term,» the cardinal said in an interview published Sunday in the Turin newspaper La Stampa.

Terrorism «accentuates man’s precariousness who, given the accelerated and often radicalized changes of this world, no longer likes to live with all his brothers in the varied forms of worship and religions,» said the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The struggle against terrorism cannot be limited to «repressive and punitive operations,» he said. Rather, «it is essential that recourse to force, if it is necessary, be coupled with a courageous and lucid analysis of the underlying reasons for the terrorist attacks,» the cardinal said, quoting John Paul II’s message for the World Day of Peace, on Jan. 1.

«We realize that it is easier to build peace in times of peace than in times of war,» Cardinal Etchegaray said. «Never before has war been placed at the very heart of peace.»

In this connection, «the fatal plague of terrorism is a very serious and central test for our time,» he said.

The «return of anti-Semitism in our Old Europe» is also undeniable, the cardinal added. «[Not] to recognize it, not to call it by its name, is an unconscious way of accepting it. … Its contours are vague and are not reduced to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.»

«The path that leads to Auschwitz is always before us and it starts with little weaknesses,» he noted. Hence, he insisted on the need for «constant vigilance and frank solidarity with the Jewish communities.»

The French cardinal also expressed the hope that Iraqis «will build their future thinking that if there is no peace without justice, neither is their justice without reconciliation.»

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