Pope John Paul II, who has appealed repeatedly for a diplomatic solution to the Persian Gulf war, now says he wants to make it clear that he does not seek "peace at any cost."

In remarks Sunday, the pontiff apparently sought to blunt attempts by Italian leftists and others to use his peace appeals for their own anti-war campaign.Italian Communists and other opponents of the war had used a remark made by John Paul on Christmas Day - that "war is an adventure with no return" - as a slogan and rallying cry.

"We don't want peace at any cost," the pontiff said in remarks at a Rome parish. "A just peace, peace and justice. Peace is always the work of justice."