Speaking at an award ceremony on Saturday where KTO French Catholic television and the French political magazine "Politique International" ("International Politics"), awarded him the "Prize for Political Courage," Pope John Paul II appealed for peace and for the release of hostages in Iraq.
The Pope said that the award “demonstrates the attention to the peace mission of the Church in the world where conflicts are unfortunately too numerous. I would like to appeal once again for peace, for the building of a fraternal society among peoples.”
"My thoughts," added the Holy Father, "go to the journalists who, through their witness and their publications, are the artisans of peace and freedom and who pay a very heavy price in conflicts.”
“I am also thinking of the hostages and their families, innocent victims of violence and hatred, and I invite all people of good will to respect the lives of people. No demand can end up with bargaining for human lives. The path of violence is a dead end," he said.
KTO television was founded by Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, who was present at the ceremony. The representatives of both KTO and Politique International paid homage to the Holy Father for his tireless fight for justice and peaces in the world, and for proclaiming the Gospel without fear. They thanked him "for his political courage in showing ... there is no limit to what the will can accomplish," especially against aggressors and oppressors.