Pope Calls for an End to "Vortex of Violence" in Holy Land

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II encouraged the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and called for an end to the "vortex of violence and reprisals."

"'There is no peace without justice; there is no justice without forgiveness," the Pope said. "Addressing all the inhabitants of the Holy Land, I remind them of this again today with greater conviction."

He made his comments when greeting the several thousand people who gathered in St. Peter's Square today before the praying of the Angelus. The Holy Father recalled the past week of violence in the Holy Land that resulted in 60 deaths and threatened the "road map" for peace.

Both sides run the risk of being caught in "an endless vortex of violence and reprisals," the Pope warned.

For this reason, he exhorted "the international community not to tire of helping Israelis and Palestinians to rediscover the meaning of man and of fraternity, to build their future together."