John Paul II Appeals for End to Mideast Violence

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2002 ( John Paul II appealed for an end to the violence engulfing the Holy Land and the Middle East, when he met with leaders of Eastern-rite Catholic Churches.

Highlighting the sufferings of the inhabitants of the region who are "drawn into a dangerous spiral that, humanly, seems unstoppable," the Pope exclaimed: "May God make this spiral of violence cease as soon as possible!"

He made his appeal to 65 representatives who are attending the plenary assembly of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches.

The Pope confided his prayer in particular to Blessed John XXIII, as the 40th anniversary of the encyclical "Pacem in Terris" approaches.