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Catholic World News

At UN, Vatican envoy decries ‘new lows of barbarism’ in Middle East

April 21, 2017

The Vatican’s permanent representative at UN headquarters in New York has repeated a plea for “religious leaders to speak out forcefully” against the use of religion as an inducement to violence.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that recent events have “plunged some areas of the Middle East further into violent chaos and new lows of barbarism.” He mentioned in particular the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the Palm Sunday bombings in Egypt. He called for an end to the use of religious motivations for such violence.

In his address to a UN discussion of the Middle East, the archbishop paid tribute to Lebanon, noting that the country “is heroically bearing the burden of hosting millions of refugees from neighboring countries and territories in conflict.” He reiterated the stand of the Holy See in favor of “sustained negotiations in good faith” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, arguing for a two-state solution.

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