DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     March 26-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 60

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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VATICAN STATEMENT LAMENTS BOMBING OF SERBIA, AND SLAIN PRIEST IN COLUMBIA

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Holy See reacted to news of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia with a comment that "the recourse to force is always a defeat for humanity."

          The Vatican noted that the attacks would inevitably produce "sentiments of hatred" among the victims. And the statement quoted the words of Pope Pius XI, spoken in August 1939: "Nothing is lost through peace; everything can be lost by warfare."

          The Vatican issued an "invitation" to the Yugoslavian government to "immediately return to the path of dialogue." The official Vatican statement also indicated that Pope John Paul is "profoundly concerned by the suffering of the population trapped in a sad situation which is not of their own making." The Holy Father stressed his solidarity with all those concerned: "Albanians and Serbs, Muslims and Christians, Orthodox and Catholics, because all are sons of the Father in Heaven."

          "The Holy See remains in contact with the parties involved," said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls. He said that a special gesture had been made toward Yugoslavia because the Belgrade government had expressed a need for help from European leaders in finding a path to peace.

          Recognizing that peace talks to date have proved fruitless, the Vatican spokesman nevertheless insisted that the common cultural ties of the European peoples should provide the basis for a new dialogue. "When one road leads nowhere," Navarro-Valls said, "another must be opened."

          In Bogota, Columbia another Catholic priest has become one of the most recent victims of the wave of violence in Colombia. Father Jaime Orlando Acevedo Rojas, the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Chinacota, has been found slain after being kidnapped on Sunday, March 20.

          Local police report that the assassins burst into the priest's residence on Sunday night, and forced him to leave along with them. Two days later a parish catechist discovered the priest's body, marked by two bullet wounds in the head.

          Bishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of the local Cucuta diocese will preside at a funeral for the slain priest, and has asked all of the priests of the diocese to attend. Police have not yet identified the assassins.


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.

March 26-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 60
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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