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Christmas 2011 (AFP)
Christmas 2011 (AFP)

Pope Benedict XVI prays for Syria & World Peace

(DP-News - agencies)

DAMASCUS- Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and urge the Israelis and Palestinians to return to the peace table.

The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics delivered his twice-yearly Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World) message and blessing to tens of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square on a crisp, but clear day as millions of others watched on television around the world.



The 84-year-old pope, fresh off a late-night Christmas Eve Mass, said he prayed that the birth of Jesus, which Christmas celebrates, would send a message to all who need to be saved from hardships.



He cited refugees from the Horn of Africa and flood victims in Thailand, among others, and called for greater political dialogue in Myanmar, and stability in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa's Great Lakes region.



He said he prayed that God would help the Israelis and the Palestinians resume talks.

"May he bring an end to the violence in Syria, where so much blood has already been shed," he said.

"May the Lord come to the aid of our world torn by so many conflicts which even today stain the earth with blood," the Pope said.

"May the Prince of Peace grant peace and stability to that Land where he chose to come into the world, and encourage the resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. May he bring an end to the violence in Syria, where so much blood has already been shed," he added.



“May the Lord come to the aid of our world torn by so many conflicts, which even today stain the Earth with blood,” he said, speaking in Italian from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica.

At the end of his address, the 84-year-old pope, celebrating the seventh Christmas season of his pontificate, delivered Christmas greetings in 65 languages, including Turkish, Samoan, Arabic, Swahili, Hindi, Urdu and Chinese.



The Pope did not mention the deadly attacks in Nigeria. An explosion ripped through a Catholic church during Christmas Mass near Nigeria's capital Abuja, killing at least 10 people. A second explosion took place near the city of Jos in Nigeria.

The Pope was more pointed in his criticism of the Syrian government and was forceful in this plea for the end to the bloodshed there.



Pope Benedict declared, "let us speak out for those who have no voice." He called for an end to hunger and violence in the world.

Benedict urged his listeners at the Mass on Saturday night to find peace in the symbol of the powerless Christ child in a world continually threatened by violence.

He also urged that those marking the holiday in poverty, suffering or far from home not be forgotten.

Visitors Comments          Number of Comments (1)
1
Ziopope
Hope            12/26/2011 6:52:47 PM
The pope seems as sincere as Ban Ki mun.
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