Pope Decries Levels of "Intolerable" Violence in Holy  Land
                    Fallout of Sept. 11 Lingers, He Tells Members of Papal

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 8, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed again his
concern over the "unimaginable and
intolerable levels" of violence in the Holy Land.

The international panorama offers "compelling evidence of just how
desperately mankind stands in need of God's grace and
peace," he said today.

The Holy Father was addressing about 60 members of the Papal Foundation, a
U.S. institution created in 1990 by the then
archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal John Krol. The foundation collects funds
annually to support the Pope's charitable

"The dire consequences of the tragic events of Sept. 11 are still with us,"
the Pope said when he received the U.S. pilgrims.
"The spiral of violence and armed hostility in the Holy Land -- the land of
the Lord's birth, death and resurrection -- a land held
sacred by the three monotheistic religions, has increased to unimaginable and
intolerable levels."

"Throughout the world, innocent men, women and children continue to suffer
the ravages of war, poverty, injustice and
exploitation of all kinds," John Paul II continued.

"Indeed, we are currently experiencing a very difficult international
situation, but the Lord's victory and his promise to remain
with us until the end of the world are beacons of light beckoning us to meet
the challenge before us with courage and trust," the
Holy Father said.

The Pope thanked the Papal Foundation which, through the generosity of many,
"enables needed works to be carried out in the
name of Christ and his Church."