Bishop of Portsmouth: statement on Iraq

 The Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, Bishop of Portsmouth, issued the following statement today: I very much regret the need and the decision to go to war to achieve the disarmament of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and I am particularly sad that the failure of the diplomatic process has meant that hostilities are being undertaken without the sanction and support of the United Nations. At the same time, I am very conscious that many who live in our diocese are serving members of the Armed Forces and are engaged in the conflict. We must keep them and their families in our prayers. Now that war has become inevitable, we must also hold the people of Iraq in our prayers because so many of them are the innocent victims of the hostilities. The rebuilding and restoration of their country must be a high priority and all of us, in our different ways, have an obligation to do whatever we can to assist in this work as soon as the conflict is over. Our true Christian vocation is to be builders of peace based on the truth, the justice, the freedom and the love to which the Gospel of Christ calls us.

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