of his holiness pope john paul II
the pakistan catholic bishops' conference
my Venerable Brothers
the Pakistan Episcopal Conference
At this time of such grave concern for the dramatic events taking
place in your part of the world, I have asked Archbishop Paul Josef
Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", to
visit you and to convey to you the assurance of my closeness in prayer.
I implore the Father of all mercies to keep you and your communities
safe, and to inspire in you sentiments of wisdom and courage in facing
the challenges of this hour of trial.
United as we are in the Church's universal solidarity with all
the world's peoples, we must ardently hope and pray that the bright star
of peace may soon shine again over your region. In the meantime, the
sufferings of countless men, women and children cry out for practical
relief. In particular, the painful situation of the many refugees call
for immediate efforts on the part of all those who are in a position to
Archbishop Cordes will examine with you the concrete
possibilities open to the Church in Pakistan of assisting our brothers
and sisters in need. I will support your efforts with my prayers, and I
bless you and the faithful with all my heart. May the peace of God,
which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and your minds in
Christ Jesus (cf. Phil 4:7).
the Vatican, 22 October 2001