From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3314 Statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Thu, 20 Feb 2003 00:01:56 -0000

ACNS 3314     |     LAMBETH PALACE     |     20 FEBRUARY 2003

Statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of

EMBARGO: 12:01am 20 February 2003

Joint Statement from Archbishop and Cardinal

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of
Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor have, following a recent
private meeting, issued the following statement about the crisis involving

"War is always a deeply disturbing prospect; one that can never be
contemplated without a sense of failure and regret that other means have not
prevailed, and deep disquiet about all that may come in its train.

"We are very conscious of the huge burden of responsibility carried by those
who must make the ultimate decision in these matters. They are daily in our
thoughts and prayers, as are all those who would find themselves caught up
directly or indirectly in a war.

"The events of recent days show that doubts still persist about the moral
legitimacy as well as the unpredictable humanitarian consequences of a war
with Iraq.

"We recognise that the moral alternative to military action cannot be
inaction, passivity, appeasement or indifference. It is vital therefore that
all sides in this crisis engage through the United Nations fully and
urgently in a process, including continued weapons inspections, that could
and should render the trauma and tragedy of war unnecessary.

"We strongly urge the government of Iraq to demonstrate forthwith its
unequivocal compliance with UN resolutions on weapons of mass destruction.

"The season of Lent is now approaching, a time when all Christian traditions
encourage us to examine ourselves honestly, to acknowledge our shortcomings
and to seek reconciliation with God. We must hope and pray that, with God's
guidance, an outcome that brings peace with justice to Iraq and the Middle
East may yet be found."


For details about the 27th February broadcast, webcast and video
of the Enthronement of the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, the
Most Revd Rowan D Williams, visit these web sites:

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