The Sunday Times: The Pope has used his inaugural new
year message to launch a veiled attack on Irans hardline leadership.
The Sunday Times
THE Pope has used his inaugural new year message to launch a veiled attack on Irans hardline leadership.
Pope Benedicts comments follow calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel to be wiped off the global map and his recent dismissal of the Holocaust.
The Pope said: Authorities who incite their citizens to hostility to other countries bear a heavy responsibility and make the future of humanity more uncertain and anonymous.
The message, issued by the Vatican yesterday, pointed to signs of hope and highlighted a decrease in the number of armed conflicts around the world.
However, the Pope condemned the growth in arms expenditure and, in another apparent swipe at Iran, mocked governments who relied on, or aspired to obtaining, a nuclear arsenal.
In nuclear war there will be no victors, only victims, he said.
The truth of peace requires that all whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms or those planning to acquire them agree to change by clear and firm decisions and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, concentrated on achieving peace on a local scale in his new year message.
We still have to look for the big solutions, he said. But lets start with what anyone can do, anywhere; never mind the success, simply act and speak as if people are worth taking seriously.
Williams urged people to do what they could to close the gaps between themselves and their neighbours. Part of his message was filmed at a south London drop-in centre for homeless and unemployed people and was shown on BBC television last night.
Those who work here will tell you that the point isnt to solve the problems, but chiefly to say to everyone who comes through the door that they dont have to face them alone, he said.
Williams said the disasters and tragedies of 2005 had underlined the fact that human suffering affected everyone. He said: When you have a toothache it isnt the tooth that feels the misery, its you. If anyone is living less than a proper human life, were all poorer for it.