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Friday, July 14, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a communique from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace concerning the results of the Mini-Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Doha, Qatar, on June 29 - 30. The communique bears the signatures of Cardinal Renato Martino and Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, respectively president and secretary of that pontifical council.

  The English-language text laments the fact that the meeting closed with what "can only regrettably be characterized as a deadlock," something that "stands in stark contrast to the intensity of the commitment demonstrated by the negotiators and the WTO staff, who had set out with a noble vision to conclude the Doha Round with a consensus."

  The pontifical council recognizes the complexity of such a commitment - "due to the objective difficulty to mediate between so many States with different interests and expectations" - but also expresses appreciation "for the hope it promises."

  The principal theme of the Doha meeting - "equity in trade relations" - has been, "and continues to be, a major concern of the Holy See," the text reads. "Pope Paul VI underscored the necessity of such equity forty years ago, affirming that: 'Free trade can be called just only when it conforms to the demands of social justice'."

  The document highlights the need to return to the spirit of Doha. Five years ago, the Doha Round opened a new horizon of hope in this field, successfully negotiating a declaration on development and the alleviation of poverty, with a specific commitment to improve the effective participation of the least developed countries in the multilateral trade system."

  "The weeks that negotiators now have to achieve an agreement which integrates a positive and effective conclusion to the Round, is a unique opportunity," the communique observes. "It is to be hoped that the next G8 Meeting, which will take place in a few days in St. Petersburg, Russia, will result in the political decisions needed to transform the technical steps into operational ones," it adds.

  "The particular urgency of this task cannot be taken lightly, particularly when one considers the fact that the effects of trade relations have serious consequences for human beings and on their dignity," the text concludes. "This said, commercial negotiations should always take into account the impact of such negotiations upon the human family."
CON-IP/TRADE/DOHA                            VIS 20060714 (410)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano today made the following declaration on Vatican Radio:

  "The news we are receiving from the Middle East is certainly worrying.

  "The Holy Father Benedict XVI and all his collaborators are following with great attention the latest dramatic episodes, which risk degenerating into a conflict with international repercussions.

  "As in the past, the Holy See also condemns both the terrorist attacks on the one side and the military reprisals on the other. Indeed, a State's right to self-defense does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations.

  "In particular, the Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and gives assurances of its closeness to those people who have suffered so much in the defense of their own independence.

  "Once again, it appears obvious that the only path worthy of our civilization is that of sincere dialogue between the contending parties."
SS/MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE/SODANO                    VIS 20060714 (180)


VATICAN CITY, JUL 14, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, for the death yesterday at the age of 89 of Cardinal Angel Suquia Goicoechea, emeritus of the same archdiocese.

  "Profoundly saddened over the death of the dear Cardinal Angel Suquia Goicoechea, archbishop emeritus of Madrid, following a long illness borne with great serenity, I express my most heartfelt condolences to you and to all that dear archdiocese. I join everyone in entrusting to the mercy of the heavenly Father this zealous pastor who served his people with so much pastoral charity.

  "His generous and intense ministerial activity - first as bishop of Almeria, then bishop of Malaga, archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, and later archbishop of the archdiocese of Madrid-Alcala, also serving for a number of years as president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference - testifies to his great dedication to the cause of the Gospel, and gives proof of his profound love for the Church.

  "At this time of sorrow in which the ecclesial community of Madrid weeps its beloved pastor, I wish to impart upon you an affectionate and comforting apostolic blessing."
TGR/DEATH SUQUIA/ROUCO                        VIS 20060714 (210)

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