Please note: These are not the western-favored appeals to the Gaddafi regime to implement a cease-fire, demands that are either absurdly naive or dishonest. These views from the highest and middling levels of the Catholic Church, reputable as it is these days, call on all parties to stop shooting. They seem to know this must first and foremost be NATO, the ones shooting with the greatest effect and least legitimacy. Then the rebels of Cyrenaica and Misrata will have to agree to talk with Gaddafi, which they've foresworn. And then the beleaguered government, who - despite its rigidity in some areas, might well negotiate if given the slightest chance. If they're smart they would.
It's the first two parties, NATO and the Libyan rebels, assuring each other of a mutually profitable victory, who've been the problems when it comes to giving an inch. And it's to Euro-American leaders the Pope and others in the Church seem to be speaking with these dispatches from May 1 and 14. (more perhaps to come)
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI has led the Church in calling for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, saying he is concerned about the safety of civilians in the North African country and urging ‘reconciliation’ across the Middle East.Pope leads call for ceasefire in Libya, May 1
The Pope made his strongest statement to date on the Libyan crisis on Sunday, calling on all combatants to immediately lay down arms.
“I launch a heartfelt appeal to international organisations and those with political and military responsibilities to immediately launch a dialogue that will suspend the use of arms,” the Holy Father said. “Faced with the ever more dramatic news coming from Libya, my concern over the safety and security of the civilian population is growing, as is my fear for how the situation is developing with the use of arms.
“At moments of the highest tension, it becomes more urgent to use every diplomatic method available and to support even the weakest signal of openness and of willingness for reconciliation from all sides involved.”
Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic vicar of Tripoli and Libya’s most senior Catholic clergyman
[Martinelli] said the Pope’s call for an end to conflict was ‘wonderful news.’Pope leads call ...
“The Holy Father’s appeal was wonderful news and gives us great comfort,” the Apostolic vicar said. “The Pope spoke words that affirm the need for reconciliation, peace and dialogue. We have translated [the] appeal by the Holy Father into Arabic and we will send it as a voice message to the Libyan Foreign Ministry, for their information.”
"I repeat that I have never said that Gaddafi has been injured, or gone abroad, " Archbishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli says to Fides, referring to some news released by the international press about this. " My position has been communicated in a letter to the Italian Foreign Ministry - says Archbishop Martinelli - in which I also hope that the Italian government implements a truce, as requested also by the Holy Father and the United Nations" ."A truce is necessary ... May 14
Archbishop Martinelli said that "yesterday, in Marsa Brega, 16 people died and several were killed in other parts of Tripoli. The bombs are still claiming victims. A truce seems appropriate to help the civilians breathe again. Even last night there were several bombings, the strongest we heard around 3a.m. They do not allow us to sleep”. "With regards to the Church - Archbishop Martinelli continues - we are still respected, and even foreigners are. We conduct our regular religious services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Yesterday there was a good participation of the faithful to mass. In prayer, we invoke the grace of peace and reconciliation. Certainly on one side and on the other there are sins to be forgiven, but you cannot forgive by throwing bombs, " concludes the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.
The bishops of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, Joint Statement
“We know that war solves nothing, and when it breaks out, it is just as uncontrollable as the explosion of a nuclear reactor,” the North African bishops said. “The first victims are always the poorest and most disadvantaged. Moreover, whether we like it or not, the war in the Near East, and now in the Maghreb, will always be interpreted as ‘a crusade.’”Pope leads call ...
Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the new Apostolic nuncio to Great Britain
In London, [Mennini] took the Pope’s message to an international summit on the future of Libya on Tuesday. Prior to the meeting, which he attended as Vatican observer, the archbishop spoke on the need for an immediate ceasefire. [...] The nuncio represented the Vatican as an official observer at a special conference in London chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron and attended by 40 foreign ministers and the United Nations General Secretary.Pope leads call ...
Before the meeting, the archbishop said that he hoped the international community would accept the need for a ceasefire that will allow for effective humanitarian care to be given to those in need.
“A ceasefire is necessary, in order to bring a concrete and effective peace for all sides,” he said. “For the people are suffering under the air strikes but also under the previous suffering.
“There also needs to be a roadmap for peace in Libya, one that would be fair, to all people in Libya, apart from their political, religious or ethnic identity.”