Gadhafis Death Marks End of Oppressive Regime
Libyans celebrate in Tripolis Martyrs Square after hearing news that Libyas ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed by fighters in Sirte, Libya, 20 Oct. Gadhafis death was hailed as the moment of liberation of the oil-producing country that the strongman ruled for 42 years. (photo: CNS/Ismail Zitouni, Reuters)
21 Oct 2011 by John Thavis
VATCAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican said the
death of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi marked the
end of a harsh and oppressive regime that was based on
power instead of human dignity.
It expressed hope that the bloodshed would end in
the North African country, and that the new Libyan
government would open a rebuilding phase based on a
spirit of inclusion and social justice.
The statement was issued by the Vatican press
office late Oct. 20, several hours after Gadhafi was
reported killed in his coastal hometown of Sirte, where he
had been barricaded with loyalist troops. His death came
after months of bloody civil strife and NATO airstrikes in
support of Libyan rebels.
The Vatican said the Libyan conflict had been
too long and tragic and should prompt reflection on the
cost of immense human suffering that accompanies the
collapse of systems not founded on respect for human
It encouraged the new Libyan government to try
to prevent further violence caused by a spirit of revenge
and to begin a program of pacification. The international
community, it said, should provide generous aid toward
the reconstruction of the country.
For its part, the minority Catholic community in
Libya will continue to offer its witness and its unselfish
service, especially in the areas of charity and health care,
it said. The Vatican said it would work in favor of the
Libyan people in the international diplomatic arena.
The statement said the Vatican considers the
transitional government as the legitimate representative of
the Libyan people. The Vatican, it said, has already had
various contacts with the new authorities in Libya,
through the Libyan Embassy to the Vatican, at the United
Nations and in Libya.
It said the apostolic nuncio to Libya, who resides
in Malta, had gone to Libya for talks in early October with
the provisional prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, and other
In these diverse encounters, both sides
underlined the importance of the diplomatic relations
between the Holy See and Libya. The Holy See had the
opportunity to renew its support for the Libyan people and
its support for the transition, the Vatican said.
The officials of Libyas new government have
expressed appreciation for the humanitarian appeals of
Pope Benedict XVI and for the churchs service in Libya, in particular the work of 13 religious communities in hospitals or assistance centers.
Tags: Vatican Arab Spring Libya