The Vincentian Millennium Partnership (VMP) justice group in England and Wales agreed on Saturday to endorse the joint pre-Lent statement on Iraq by Archbishop Rowan Williams and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor in which they stated: "War is always a deeply disturbing prospect; one that can never be contemplated without a sense of failure and regret that other means have not prevailed, and deep disquiet about all that may come in its train." The archbishops said they were praying daily for those carrying the huge burden of responsibility of making the ultimate decision in these matters. "The events of recent days show that doubts still persist about the moral legitimacy, as well as the unpredictable humanitarian and political consequences, of a war with Iraq. "We recognise that the moral alternative to military action cannot be inaction, passivity, appeasement or indifference. It is vital therefore that all sides in this crisis engage, through the United Nations - fully and urgently - in a process, including continued weapons inspections, that could and should render the trauma and tragedy of war unnecessary." They also urged the government of Iraq to demonstrate forthwith its "unequivocal compliance with UN resolutions on weapons of mass destruction." The VMP is a Vincentian initiative launched in 2000. Working in partnership with a number of other agencies, including CARITAS - SOCIAL ACTION, it is focussing on a number of social and justice issues including, poverty, debt advice, advocacy and social research.
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