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June 10, 1999


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, hopes that an international accord will restore peace to the Balkans. "I am heartened by the hope for an end to the conflict, and pray that this peace plan will bring to an end to the untold suffering, death and destruction in the Balkans," said Cardinal Bevilacqua.

"While I offer prayers of thanks that the prospects for peace have strengthened, we must acknowledge that there is still much work to be done. Violent hostilities must end not only on land, but in hearts and minds. Lasting peace is achieved over the course of time by individuals who are committed to finding common ground and agreeing to live in harmony with their differences," said Cardinal Bevilacqua.

On March 29th, 1999 Cardinal Bevilacqua and the seven other United States Cardinals sent letters to President Clinton and Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic urging an immediate end to the fighting and calling for the convocation of a peace conference. On April 9th, Cardinal Bevilacqua sent a letter to all Pastors in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia asking each to hold a special evening prayer service for peace in Kosovo and consider taking up a special collection for the cause. On April 30th, the Cardinal presided at a prayer service for peace with students at St. Ephrem Church in Bensalem, PA. Since the conflict began, parishioners of the Archdiocese have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kosovo victims, although a final figure is not yet available. Catholic Social Services and Catholic Relief Services are now working to assist the refugees brought to the United States.

"I want to thank the faithful of the Archdiocese and all those who have contributed in some way to the relief efforts for the people of Kosovo," said Cardinal Bevilacqua. "By helping our brothers and sisters of the Balkans, we are truly living out the Gospel of God. We must not forget the lives claimed nor the lives tragically affected by this conflict. I offer my continued prayers for the resolution of remaining issues in the Balkans and for the refugees who must try to put their lives back together. May they find their peace in God whose mercy and compassion embrace all people."


Cathy Rossi
Communications Director

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