POPE John Paul has condemned as "Acts of blind terrorism" several bombings in Lebanon this month that killed more than 50 people, mostly civilians.
The papal views were made public in a French-language telegram from Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, papal secretary of state, to Archbishop Luciano Angotoni, papal nuncio in Lebanon.
Pope John Paul "condemns and deplores these acts of blind terrorism and offers fervent prayers for the victims," Cardinal Casaroli said.
"His holiness charges your excellency with presenting his condolences to the appropriate authorities and to the families affected and begs the allpowerful God that, thanks to dialogue and to accord, Lebanon may find again a lasting peace," the telegram said.
A bomb hidden in a car exploded on August 7 in a crowded market in the Syrian controlled Bakes Valley city of Baalbek, Lebanon, killing at least 33 persons and wounding 133.
Similar explosions had occurred on August 4-6 in the capital of Beirut and in the northern port city of Tripoli, destroying a mosque and killing at least 20 persons.
At the time the papal letter was issued, Lebanese authorities had not attributed the bombings to specific groups. In a frontpage commentary on the bombings L 'Osservatore Romano the Vatican daily newspaper said that "It is difficult to find words to express, once again, the horror and dismay that every human person feels before the coldness and determination with which such attacks and massacres are perpetrated."
We still believe in the possible triumph of a courageous dialogue. "