Libyan Bishop Calls for End to Hostilities
19 Apr 2011 By Sarah Delaney
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The apostolic vicar in
Tripoli called for a stop to the bloody conflict in Libya
and urged dialogue among the various tribes there to help
bring about peace, the Vatican missionary news agency
Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, who serves the small
Catholic community in the Tripoli area, said “we must
find a way to end the war,” by emphasizing diplomacy
over force, Fides reported April 16.
He said that for the first time in his 40 years in
Libya, Muslim women had come into his church and
urged him to help end the war, which was destroying their
homes, families and way of life. Bishop Martinelli said
that in Misurata, where there is a fierce battle for control
between government and rebel forces, women were being
raped and mutilated and families were trapped inside their
Bishop Martinelli said, “we should exploit tribal
relations,” by engaging the elders of tribes to “find the
path of dialogue between the different components of
Bishop Martinelli has criticized the Western
airstrikes against forces loyal to Libya’s leader, Col.
Moammar Gadhafi. The airstrikes began in March as a
response to violent repression of an uprising by opponents
to Gadhafi’s 40-year rule.
The bishop has said repeatedly that the campaign
carried out by U.S., French and British bombers to
establish a “no-fly zone” meant to stop government
aircraft from attacking rebels is not useful in resolving
Libyan hostilities. The result, he said, has been casualties
and devastation among the civil population.
He praised Brazil, Russia, India and China, which
reject the use of force and favor diplomacy.
Tags: Vatican Arabs Libya