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December 17, 1998


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, expressed his sadness over the bombing of Iraq by the United States. "While I understand and share the frustration over the situation in Iraq, I am greatly saddened by this action," said Cardinal Bevilacqua. "These attacks almost always result in the deaths of innocent people. The taking of an innocent human life is always tragic and can never be accepted as unavoidable."

Last night, the United States fired sea-launched cruise missiles on Iraq, in what is being termed as the largest attack on the country since 1991.

"It must be especially difficult for the Iraqi people to face this violence as the Muslim holy period of Ramadan approaches. I ask all people of good will to pray for the men, women and children in Iraq as well as for all members of the United States and British armed forces, who may be placed in harm's way," said Cardinal Bevilacqua. "I pray for the safe return of our military personnel and for those in leadership positions who carry the power to resolve this untenable situation."

The Vatican released this statement concerning the bombing: "Today is a sad day for the United Nations and for the world. The Holy See hopes for an end to this attack as soon as possible and for a reestablishment of international order." Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul the Second says "history clearly shows the failure of recourse to violence as a means for resolving political and social problems." Cardinal Bevilacqua joins the Holy Father by saying "I call on the leaders of nations, including the United States, to help bring these confllicts to an end and find a peaceable resolution to our differences. In times such as these, we turn to Our Lord who shows us the way to peace."


Cathy Rossi
Communications Director

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