MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
To my Venerable Brother
In this time of trial, I am particularly close to all the Bishops of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Episcopal Conference and to those entrusted to their pastoral care.
As the conflict grows worse and innocent people, already hungry and deprived, are forced to leave their homes and land, I cannot but ask those in power to spare them from more suffering and to resume respect for the territorial integrity of your countries. I pray daily to the Lord that men of good will may return to dialogue through respect for the principles of international law, and allow themselves to be led by the spirit of divine wisdom, so that they may be instruments of peace.
I want to assure you that the Holy See will continue to ask the international community to help in the search for conditions which will allow a cease-fire and the flow of humanitarian aid.
Africa has a right to peace and solidarity, especially your two countries, heirs to a rich tradition of Christian culture, who for long lived together in mutual respect and harmony.
I greet you all affectionately in the Lord, and I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace in our Risen Saviour.
From the Vatican, 23 May 2000
IOANNES PAULUS PP. II
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