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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Bishop Pat O'Donoghue supports cry of the marches - no to war!
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¬†Statement from the Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster Last Saturday hundreds and thousands of people who had never demonstrated before showed their concern, compassion and commitment to justice and peace. People representing every shade of opinion, walked with a message that couldn't have been clearer - 'No war: Don't attack Iraq!' My Christian conscience is troubled by the fact that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will die as a result of a war. The World Health Organisation estimates that there could be 100,000 casualties and another 400,000 thousands affected by internal displacement and disease. Millions may have to flee as refugees. I believe nothing can justify such human carnage and displacement. I believe that the £2 billion set aside by the Chancellor for the war should go to help the world's poor, saddled, as they are, with debt, starvation, underdevelopment and the HIV pandemic. Following the meeting of the UN Security Council last Friday it is clear that, to the extent that Weapons of Mass Destruction is an issue, it can be resolved through the continuation of the UN route of intensified inspections, containment and diplomatic pressure. It is also important to underline that all countries in possession of WMD, including our own, must adhere to UN resolutions and international treaties. The UN Charter outlaws pre-emptive strikes and attempts to occupy countries and change regimes. This must always be upheld however much we would want to condemn the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime. I make an urgent plea to Saddam Hussein to comply fully with all the resolutions of the UN and with the task of the UN inspectors to remove all weapons of mass destruction. Let me echo the words of Pope John Paul II on this issue: 'No war!' Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue Diocese of Lancaster
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