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Vatican hopes for peace in Libya after Qaddafi's death

Catholic World News - October 21, 2011

Reacting to the death of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, the Holy See has asked “that the Libyan people might be spared further violence due to a spirit of revenge,” and confirming relations with the governing National Transitional Council in Libya.

The killing of Qaddai “marks the end of a much too long and tragic phase of a brutal struggle to bring down a harsh and oppressive regime,” the Vatican said. The statement said that the bloody conflict in Libya illustrates the “immense toll of human suffering” in any society whose government “is not based on the respect and dignity of the human person, but rather on the prevailing affirmation of power.”

The Vatican voiced its hope that Libya’s new leaders can restore order and rebuild the country under the rule of law, and that international leaders will lend support to that process.

The Vatican noted that the Holy See “recognizes states and not governments,” and therefore has not formally recognized the National Transitional Council (CNT). But the statement notes that “the CNT is now acting effectively as the government in Tripoli,” the Vatican see that body as “the legitimate representative of the Libyan people,” and Vatican representatives have established friendly contacts with the new leaders.

L'Osservatore Romano remarked: "It will certainly not be easy to reconstruct the country after seven month of war--with thousands of victims, hundreds of thousands of refugees and terrible destruction--but Libyans must find the strength to begin again."

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