Tue, 04 Feb 2003

Bishops oppose possible war in Iraq

JAKARTA: The Bishops Conference of Indonesia (KWI) has expressed its concern over the United States' threat of military action in Iraq, as they speculated that it could cause the deaths of human beings in Iraq.

"We are focusing our attention on those who may fall victim to such a war. They are God's creatures who will be destroyed by war. We reject war and promote peace on the grounds that war is a form of contempt of God," KWI said in a letter dated Jan. 31 to all bishops and Catholics in the country.

The letter, a copy of which was made available to The Jakarta Post, was signed by KWI chief Julius Kardinal Darmaatmadja and secretary-general Ignatius Suharyo.

The conference also wrote its Iraqi counterpart and the country's people, in a show of sympathy for any future "pain and suffering". It also urged the Iraqi government to protect and ensure the safety of its people if such an attack transpires.

KWI also asked all Catholics in 35 dioceses across the country to dedicate the upcoming holy masses on Feb. 9 to promote peace in Iraq. -- JP