As the US pledged to continue air strikes on Libya, the Vatican sent an observer to today's conference in London - where foreign ministers from nations involved in military action in Libya are discussing the next steps in the operation, protection of civilians and possibly humanitarian aid.
Luigi Sandri writes:The Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio (ambassador) to Great Britain, Bishop Antonio Mennini, is communicating Pope Benedict XVI's desire for "peaceful and lasting solutions" to the Libyan conflict, according to Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See's press office.
On 27 March, NATO took over command of military operations that had been led by the US, Britain and France in support of rebels fighting the forces of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
On the evening of 27 March, during the weekly Angelus prayers, the pope said in St. Peter's Square that his "anxiety for the safety and security of civilians ... keeps growing." He also urged that dialogue and not military force be used in order to reach a peaceful solution in Libya. He appealed to international organisations and to "those who bear political and military responsibilities to immediately begin talks aimed at the suspension of the use of weapons."
[With acknowledgements to ENInews. ENInews, formerly Ecumenical News International, is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]