AFRICA/MOROCCO - Bishops of Northern Africa: “No to war. We will make the Pope's appeal our own”
Rabat (Agenzia Fides) - “The Bishops of Northern Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), who are faced with the processes of historical development concerning Arab countries and especially the Maghreb, wish to reaffirm our urgent appeal to find an end to this painful conflict, just and dignified for all. To this we add the appeal made by Pope Benedict XVI, on Sunday, March 27,” said a statement sent to Fides, signed by Archbishop Vincent Landel of Rabat (Morocco), President of CERNA (the Episcopal Conférence des régions de l'Afrique du Nord).
The Bishops of CERNA recognise that during the recent events that have occurred in the Maghreb countries, there has been a “legitimate claim for freedom, justice and dignity, particularly by the younger generations. This demand translates into a desire to be recognised as responsible citizens with the opportunity to find a job that allows them to live decently, excluding all forms of corruption and cronyism.”
“Today,” continues the statement, “this wind of change passes through Libya. And we especially unite with our brother Bishops in Tripoli and Benghazi, and with all communities in the Country.”
The Bishops of Northern Africa also reaffirm their opposition to violence and war: “We know that war solves nothing, and when it breaks out, it is just as uncontrollable as the explosion of a nuclear reactor! The first victims are always the poorest and most disadvantaged. Moreover, whether we like it or not, the war in the Near East, and now in the Maghreb, will always be interpreted as 'a crusade'. This will have inevitable consequences on the friendly relations that Christians and Muslims have woven and continue to weave in the newspaper.”
The Bishops of CERNA call for a diplomatic mediation, and appeal for humanitarian aid. “We pray to the Almighty to inspire the leaders of nations to find the path that leads to Justice and Peace,” the statement concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/3/2011)
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