Pope makes first comments on the war

 Pope John Paul made his first public comments on the outbreak of war on Iraq, over the weekend. Speaking to employees of the Catholic television station Telepace, on Saturday, he said: "When war, like the one now in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is even more urgent for us to proclaim, with a firm and decisive voice, that only peace is the way of building a more just and caring society. Violence and weapons can never resolve the problems of man." He said that peace was ''a gift of God and a humble and constant achievement by men.'' Yesterday, (Sunday) addressing pilgrims in St Peter's Square, the Pope said he felt spiritually close to the victims of the Iraq war and their families, and offered them his prayers and affection.

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