DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     May 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 87

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Catholic Workers Commitment to Peace

          PADUA, MAY 2 (ZENIT).- In a meeting in Padua to study the problem of the war in Yugoslavia, the Italian Workers' Catholic Action (ACLI) came to the conclusion that "the only viable way to achieve a ceasefire in the Kosovo war, is to appeal to the United Nations, because the U.N. is the only organization with supranational authority."

          The plan proposed by Catholic Action was presented by professor Antonio Papisca, an expert in international relations at the University of Padua. Professor Papisca invited everyone to take part in a march for peace from Perugia to Assisi, which will take place on May 16.

          "The situation must be handled under the direction of the United Nations, through the Security Council and by the convocation of an emergency session of the General Assembly." It must be followed "by the return of the refugees and the calling of an international peace conference to define Kosovo's status."

          According to Papisca, unless there is a return to the United Nations in handling international situations, there is a risk of "deregulating" norms or acting as though the latter are non-existent, which would affect the international balance.

          At present, there is "a poorly orchestrated plan allowing world equilibrium to be established at the price of the Yugoslavian peoples' blood. There are those who are determined to create a new international balance in the economic realm, so the flames of nationalism are fanned in order to diminish the U.N.'s power."

          Luigi Bobba, ACLI's president, said that "in order to propose this plan, a strategy of a democratic world order must be established in which the use of force, for policing purposes and not military action, is reserved exclusively to the U.N." ZE99050202

          Meanwhile in Rome, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray warned against resignation to violence when he published an article in which he calls for an end to the Kosovo War and warns against passivity in face of the arms clash. The Cardinal laments the fact that until the very end of this "brief century" the "signs of death" continue to be evident.

          "The last events of the end of this millennium, leave no way out. As a perfidious companion on man's journey, violence continues to pursue him to the threshold of the new age, as though it is determined to suffocate or suppress a change of direction," the Cardinal wrote.

          In Cardinal Etchegaray's opinion, the Kosovo war is a warning that the hopes for peace will follow a most difficult path of adversities and efforts of all kinds.

          "The lightening of war blinds the sight of the future, so that the passage into the new millennium might well turn out to be the simple turning of the pages of the calendar."

          Faced with this situation, where arms express the "inhuman consequence of the inability to dialogue," Cardinal Etchegaray called for an awakening of conscience and the need to ask ourselves if "we should be resigned to continue into the new millennium with the weight of hatred and enmity which paralyzes our progress."

          He responded by energetically opposing this attitude. "The time has come to say once more, loudly and solemnly: 'Enough!' As the Holy Father has done in the name of Christ and of the whole of humanity, moving united -- beyond the pages of the calendar -- toward the horizon of the third millennium."

          The Cardinal contrasted this pilgrimage of faith to the painful march of the Kosovo refugees. "The bitter pilgrimage of these brothers of ours is evidence of how violence goes against the direction of history and of the hopes of men. It is exactly opposite to the civilization of love which could be and, indeed, must be, the sign of the new millennium." ZE99050201

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 87


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