Terrorism Must Be Understood to Be Fought, Says Vatican Official

Cardinal Martino Calls for a "Courageous Analysis" of Problem

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 18, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In the wake of the Madrid terrorist attacks, a Vatican official has called for an understanding of the causes of terrorism in order to combat it effectively.



Quoting John Paul II's Message for the 2004 World Day of Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino said today that "the struggle against terrorism cannot be exhausted in repressive and punitive operations."

While attending a congress at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace told Vatican Radio that it "is essential that the necessary recourse to force be accompanied by a lucid and courageous analysis" of the causes of terrorism.

"The Pope suggests that the causes be identified," in addition to educating in peace, the cardinal said. "If the causes are not eliminated, there will always be relapses."

"We see that terrorism is a surreptitious enemy, which makes its nest everywhere, strikes everywhere," Cardinal Martino said. "The whole international community must be committed to eliminate this plague."

Regarding to the situation in Iraq, Cardinal Martino again quoted the Pope's message recognizing the U.N. role in protecting "the peace of the international community."

Cardinal Martino added: "The Pope hopes that this role will be given back to the U.N. and, at the same time, he suggests and calls for a reform of the U.N., which will allow the organization to function effectively to achieve the ends of its statutes, which continue to be valid."