Catholic World News Headlines
Date: 3/24/2003 2:35:47 PM Pacific Standard Time


Speaking to Italian reporters on Saturday, Pope John Paul II said that the war in Iraq threatens the future of mankind.

The Holy Father made his remarks to a group of television reporters from the Italian network, Telepace. The network was celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The Pope said: "When war, like the one underway in Iraq, threatens the future of humanity, it is even more important to proclaim, in a strong and decisive voice, that peace is the only way to build a more just and unified society." He added that "violence and arms can never resolve men's problems."

The Pope's words-- his first public statement on the issue since the war began-- left no doubt that he hoped for an early end to military action. But the Pontiff stopped short of any moral condemnation of the war.

The Pontiff praised Telepace for its record of independent news service, and service to the Catholic faith. He pointed to the network's daily programming, which includes broadcast of the Mass, the Rosary, and other religious offerings.