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The Pope’s Peace Note

01 September 2017

August 31st, 1917.

THE reply which the President of the United States has promptly returned to the Pope’s Peace Note is worthier of having been issued from the Holy See than the document to which it is an answer. It states in impressive language the moral issues that have been raised by the war. It insists that right is right and wrong is wrong, and that mutual condonation is out of the question here. The manifest crimes of Germany have made four-fifths of the world her enemy. The Pope’s proposals of an immediate peace on the terms which His Holiness suggested assume an equality of guilt on the part of all the belligerents, an assumption which they cannot and will not endorse. They are anxious for peace, of course, but with whom are they to make it? With those who now control Germany it is impossible to come to terms, for, as Dr Wilson puts it, “We cannot take the word of the present rulers of Germany as a guarantee of anything that is to endure unless explicitly supported by the German people.” Without that guarantee any undertaking by the Kaiser and his Ministers would not be worth more than the scrap of paper bearing their signatures.


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