Mideast Crisis Calls for Correct Use of Political Authority, Says John Paul II

Comments on Effects of Endless Violence

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 17, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Middle East crisis shows the "need for the correct use of political authority," John Paul II says in his message for the World Day of Peace.



"Day after day, year after year, the cumulative effect of bitter mutual rejection and an unending chain of violence and retaliation have shattered every effort so far to engage in serious dialogue on the real issues involved," the Pope says in his message, published today by the Vatican Press Office.

"The volatility of the situation is compounded by the clash of interests among the members of the international community," the Holy Father adds.

"Until those in positions of responsibility undergo a veritable revolution in the way they use their power and go about securing their peoples' welfare, it is difficult to imagine how progress toward peace can be made," the Pope laments.

According to the papal message, the "fratricidal struggle that daily convulses the Holy Land and brings into conflict the forces shaping the immediate future of the Middle East, shows clearly the need for men and women who, out of conviction, will implement policies firmly based on the principle of respect for human dignity and human rights."

"Such policies are incomparably more advantageous to everyone than the continuation of conflict," Section No. 7 of the message concludes. "A start can be made on the basis of this truth, which is certainly more liberating than propaganda, especially when that propaganda serves to conceal inadmissible intentions."