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Pope's World Peace Day Message Covers War, Terrorism, Environment


Pope Benedict XVI has urged governments to find a balance between protecting their people from terrorism and protecting basic values.

In a wide-ranging message ahead of the annual World Day of Peace, on January 1, the pope also said countries need to do more to observe humanitarian law during times of conflict. He cited this year's fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas, saying the sides "largely ignored" the duty to protect civilians.

The pope said misuse of the environment and the hoarding of natural resources, particularly energy resources, is one of the root causes of war.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church also repeated past statements that one can never justify war in the name of God.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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