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Libyan bishop condemns NATO bombing campaign

Catholic World News - July 04, 2011

Libya’s most prominent Catholic prelate, a frequent critic of the Western intervention in Libya, has issued his strongest condemnation yet of the NATO bombing campaign.

“Bombing is always an immoral act,” said Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli. “I respect NATO, but I must also declare that war is immoral.”

Bishop Martinelli declined to discuss reports that the Libyan government under Muammar Qaddafir has butchered its own citizens. He did say, however: “If there are violations of human rights, I cannot use the same method to stop them.” The bishop has repeatedly decried the civilian casualties suffered during the bombing campaign.

Bishop Martinelli also expressed fears that the fall of the current regime could create more problems for the religious minorities of Libya. “Qaddafi gave us freedom of the church,” he said. Pointing to the sufferings of Christians in Iraq after a decade of war, he pointed out: “They destroyed Saddam Hussein, but it has been very difficult to arrange life since.”

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