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 CNS Story:

PEACE-TOMASI Feb-6-2007 (220 words) xxxi

Vatican official: Peace means closing economic gap, ending conflicts

By Alicia Ambrosio
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Achieving peace implies closing the gap between the rich and poor as well as stopping terrorism and armed conflict, said a Vatican official.

It also implies "stopping a revived arms race and the proliferation of a variety of weapons (and) rejecting the glorification of violence in the media," said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Vatican representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

The archbishop spoke to representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist faiths at an interreligious prayer service in Geneva Jan. 30. Catholic News Service obtained a copy of his text.

The archbishop reminded participants that millions of people are affected by current wars and, in many cases, a total disregard for humanitarian law.

He said there should be no surrender to the "culture of conflict" or acceptance of the idea that clashes are unavoidable and war is natural.

At the same time, Archbishop Tomasi said, the church is not naive. It recognizes that violence has become an increasingly complex phenomenon and poses unprecedented challenges to the international community, he said.

The search for peace is an orderly process that starts with tolerance, moves toward respect and justice, and culminates in the discovery that the highest vocation of every person is love, said the archbishop.


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