ROME — Pope John Paul said on Thursday he hoped the terror attacks in the United States would lead to a new era of international cooperation and a rejection of violence.
The Pope's words came a day after he condemned the attacks as a "dark day in the history of humanity" and urged the world not to allow a "spiral of hate and violence" to prevail.
The Pope told the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican James Nicholson that he was beginning his diplomatic mission at a moment of immense tragedy for his country.
"At this time of national mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, I wish to assure you personally of my profound participation in the grief of the American people," the Pope said.
He said he was praying specifically for President George W. Bush, other authorities, the victims, their families and those involved in the rescue operation.
"I pray that this inhuman act will awaken in the hearts of all the world's peoples a firm resolve to reject the ways of violence, to combat everything that sows hatred and division within the human family, and to work for the dawn of a new era of international cooperation inspired by the highest ideals of solidarity, justice and peace," the Pope said.