Aide: Vatican Fighting Battle of Peace

Comments on Cluster Bomb Treaty

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 7, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See's battle for disarmament in the international community, especially the elimination of cluster bombs, is a battle of peace, says that a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican's press office, commente on the Holy See's ratification of the international treaty prohibiting cluster bombs on the Vatican Television program "Octava Dies."

Nearly 100 countries ratified the treaty that aims at putting an end to the use, manufacture and stockpiling of cluster bombs.

These weapons, the Jesuit priest explained, are "sadly famous not only for the victims they claim, also among civilians, when they are used, but also for the fact that they often do not explode for a long period of time and so kill innocent people years later."

"The Holy See has been active from the beginning in this battle of peace, having been among the group of six countries that first promoted it at an international level. It is an indication of a concrete commitment on the disarmament front," he observed.

In his remarks on the occasion of the signing of the treaty, the secretary for Vatican relations with states, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, noted that even in the midst of the present economic and financial crisis the "military budgets and spending are unfortunately growing at an alarming pace."

In this context, Father Lombardi continued, "the Holy See consistently makes its contribution to the reinforcement and expansion of international humanitarian law, coherent with the message Benedict XVI presented at the United Nations during his visit to New York."

"[It is] a long journey," the spokesman added, "always at the service of the life and dignity of the human person."