Sin rallies faithful to oppose Iraq war
- Katherine Adraneda () - February 22, 2003 - 12:00am
Following Pope John Paul II’s call for peace, Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin urged the country’s 64 million Catholics yesterday to oppose a threatened US-led war on Iraq.

In an open-air Mass at the EDSA Shrine, the archbishop called on Filipinos to express their support for a peaceful resolution of the standoff in Iraq.

"Our gathering is a concrete expression of our solidarity with the cause of the Holy Father," Sin said, referring to Pope John Paul II’s efforts to prevent the outbreak of war in Iraq.

Sin echoed recent statements by the Pope that "war is always a defeat for humanity," and that "humanity must not resign itself to the inevitability of war."

"We must not be resigned as though war is inevitable," Sin said in his homily. "There exists the dawn of peace that breaks the dark clouds of war and violence. We must never lose hope. We must never give up the path of peace and unity."

Hundreds attended the Mass, including students from various schools and even leftist protesters.

President Arroyo has been a staunch supporter of US President George W. Bush’s Iraq policy and the UN Security Council’s demands for Baghdad to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction.

Opponents of a threatened US war on Iraq failed to muster large street protests in the Philippines during the global anti-war protests last weekend.

Meanwhile, various religious groups likewise called for a peaceful resolution of the crisis, which has drawn stiff opposition from publics everywhere.

"War is hell and so we have to exert all efforts to buy time and buy peace," said Ide Tillah, chairman of the National Ecumenical Consultative Committee, which is composed of representatives from various religious groups.

"We are not saying that we side with (Iraqi President Saddam Hussein) or tolerating his violations," Tillah said, referring to banned weapons of mass destruction that Washington claims Baghdad secretly possesses. – With AFP

FOLLOWING POPE JOHN PAUL HOLY FATHER IDE TILLAH IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN MANILA ARCHBISHOP JAIME CARDINAL SIN NATIONAL ECUMENICAL CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE POPE JOHN PAUL PRESIDENT ARROYO PRESIDENT GEORGE W WAR
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