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Pope calls on Christians and others to mobilize against war

Pope Benedict XVI called on Christians and others touched by his words to mobilize against the widening warfare in the Middle East, saying no good comes out of war, not even for the victors. 
Benedict pressed his campaign for a rapid peaceful solution to the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon during an interview Saturday with German media to be broadcast in Germany on Aug. 13. 
The Vatican released the pope's answer to one of the questions, about the situation in the Middle East. 
"Naturally, the Holy See does not want any political power,'' Benedict replied, during the interview Saturday morning in his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, a hill town outside Rome. 
"But we want to appeal to Christians and to all those who feel in some way touched by the words of the Holy See so that all the forces which recognize that war is the worst solution for everybody are mobilized,'' the pontiff said. 
War "doesn't bring any good for anybody, not even for the apparent victors,'' Benedict said. "We know that well in Europe, following two World Wars.'' 
On Saturday, the Vatican's newspaper L'Osservatore Romano denounced the horrors of what it called an undeclared war between Israel and the guerrillas. 
"What everybody needs is peace,'' Benedict said in the interview. "There are moral forces which are ready to understand that the only solution is that we must live together. These are the forces we want to mobilize _ politicians must find the path so that this happens as rapidly as possible and above all in a lasting way,'' the pontiff said. The Holy See's daily also said that "patient dialogue based on the willingness to coexist, side by side,'' was the sole means able to "guarantee a solution to the crisis that keeps the whole world anxious and threatens its stability.'' 
Since the fighting erupted in mid-July, Benedict has made repeated pleas to end the hostilities. 
Israel and its chief ally, the United States, have resisted such peace calls, saying efforts must be made for a "durable'' settlement. 
At his public audience Wednesday, Benedict said nothing could justify the spilling of innocent blood on any side. 
Benedict has spoken out on the issue on every public occasion since the fighting began three weeks ago, reminiscent of his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, who, in using the moral voice of the Vatican, became a rallying figure for critics of the Iraq war. 
Speaking at the funeral Saturday in St. Peter's Basilica of the former, longtime Vatican envoy to the United States, Monsignor Gabriel Montalvo, the Holy See's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, expressed hopes for a quick end to what he called a "useless massacre'' in the Middle East. 
The pope was interviewed by Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARD, Baverian state TV linked to the nation's public channel 1; by ZDF, German public channel 2, and by Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster, as well as by Vatican Radio.  
Source: AP

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