|Pictures of the victims of the|
Oct. 31, 2010, bombing of the
Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Cathedral
Baghdad (Dec. 24, 2010)
And, in the ongoing collapse of the balance of the Middle East that has been unresolved since then, the weakest link - that is, the Christian minorities - have suffered and will continue to suffer the most.
[I] wish to renew an urgent appeal to intensify the commitment to prayer and penance, to invoke from Christ the gift of his peace. There is no peace without conversion of heart.
The next few days will be decisive for the outcome of the Iraqi crisis. Let us pray, then, that the Lord inspire in all sides of the dispute courage and farsightedness.
... [I]n the face of the tremendous consequences that an international military operation would have for the population of Iraq and for the balance of the Middle East region, already sorely tried, and for the extremisms that could stem from it, I say to all: There is still time to negotiate; there is still room for peace, it is never too late to come to an understanding and to continue discussions.
To reflect on one's duties, to engage in energetic negotiations does not mean to be humiliated, but to work with responsibility for peace.
Moreover, we Christians are convinced that real and lasting peace is not only the fruit of necessary political agreements and understandings between individuals and peoples, but is the gift of God to all those who submit themselves to him and accept with humility and gratitude the light of his love.
John Paul II
March 16, 2003
Cardinal Ratzinger in September 2002:
The "concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Cardinal Ratzinger noted.
"One cannot simply say that the catechism does not legitimize the war," he continued. "But it is true that the catechism has developed a doctrine that, on one hand, does not exclude the fact that there are values and peoples that must be defended in some circumstances; on the other hand, it offers a very precise doctrine on the limits of these possibilities."