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Maronite Bishops Urge Peace

 (Retrieved from Zenit on July 24, 2006)

BEIRUT, Lebanon, JULY 23, 2006

 Lebanon's Maronite bishops issued an 8-point statement appealing to all parties in the present Middle East conflict to overcome division and stop violence.

 This week's meeting in Beirut was called by Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, patriarch of the Maronites, reported AsiaNews.

 The statement includes a call for an immediate ceasefire, the opening of humanitarian corridors, condemnation of the Israeli invasion, as well as kidnapping, an expression of support for the diplomatic efforts of the Lebanese government, an invitation to all parties to search for unity of intent.

 The Maronite bishops also hailed the initiative of Benedict XVI to pray today for peace in Lebanon, and they invited all Catholics in Lebanon to respect the Pope's desire because only prayer can save the country, reported AsiaNews.

 Foreign ministers from the world's most powerful countries and Arab states are due to hold an emergency meeting in Rome on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.