DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     April 9-11, 1999     vol. 10, no. 70

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The official Vatican newspaper has cautioned against the premature rejection of any proposal that could lead toward peace in the Balkans.

          In a front-page article published in the April 8 issue, L'Osservatore Romano said it would be a mistake "to scrap any proposal hastily, without at least searching for points that might be used to prolong to dialogue." The Vatican paper added that even a temporary truce could be extremely useful, since "only with peace will it become possible to provide adequate aid to the population of Kosovo." The paper called upon all international leaders to redouble their efforts, and "not neglect any approach without having explored it in depth."

          Meanwhile the papal nuncio in Belgrade, Archbishop Santos Abril y Castello, commented that the Yugoslavian government's offer of a unilateral truce is "a proposition that deserves attentive study." The Pope's representative in the Serbian capital told the Italian newspaper Avvenire that while the truce "should be confirmed by the facts," it remained a proposal worth exploration.

          The archbishop also said that while humanitarian intervention to help the people of Kosovo was a "duty" for the European nations, "that is not the same as armed intervention." He argued that other political and diplomatic initiatives should have been explored before the bombing raids began.

          In Belgrade, the latest effort at Church diplomacy was played out when a delegation from the St. Egidio community, led by Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia, met with leading Serbian government officials. Italian press sources indicated that the St. Egidio delegation may also have met with Ibrahim Rugova, who has been considered a "moderate" leader among ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

          Eclesiales Noticias reported in Church News that Pope John Paul II received the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Sadako Ogata, who afterwards met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State. According to what has been informed, the meeting related to the difficult situation of the people affected by the conflict in the Balkans. Precisely, the Pontiff sent last week Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" to Albania, in order to coordinate the help offered by ecclesial organizations and also to take his message of solidarity.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

April 9-11, 1999       volume 10, no. 70


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