Pope John Paul the Second has volunteered the services of the Vatican as a mediator in seeking solutions to international problems.
Pope John Paul the Second has volunteered the services of the Vatican as a mediator in seeking solutions to international problems. The Pope made the offer at the Vatican on Friday (12 January) in a speech to diplomats accredited to the Holy See.
SYNOPSIS: The Pontiff said the Vatican had already achieved some progress in one such mediation-- a bid to heal the rift between Argentina and Chile over the Beagle Channel issue.
He described the efforts of his envoy there, Cardinal Antonio Samore, as 'a first, positive and precious result'. Argentina and Chile recently agreed to continue their settlement efforts through the Vatican, to try to avoid military confrontation over the Beagle question, which involves the control of three islands at the southern tip of South America.
Pope John Paul deplored the violence and other problems afflicting Kampuchea (Cambodia), Iran, Northern Ireland and Lebanon. In his speech to the diplomats, he reaffirmed his support for human rights, especially those of religious liberty for Roman Catholics and other Christians throughout the world. The Bope, who has a good command of several languages, spoke to them in French.
He said the Holy See could not fail to hear poignant cries for help, and that the efforts of individual governments to solve their problems and live in justice should be respected. While the Pope was talking, rebel Archbishop Marcel Lefebre of France was having his third day of reconciliation talks with a senior Vatican official. The seventy-two-year old traditionalist, who opposed many Vatican reforms, was suspended from priestly duties by the late Pope Paul in 1976.