2008-03-09 18:41:33

Pope Appeals for the Holy Land and Iraq

(09 Mar 08 - RV) Pope Benedict appealed for the Holy Land and Iraq during his Sunday Angelus...
Pope Benedict made an appeal for the Holy Land on Sunday urging Israeli and Palestinian authorities to continue with negotiations to build and peaceful and just future for their peoples.

The past days the Holy Father said had seen a violence and horror feeding a spiral of destruction and of death that seems to have no end and he asked in the name of God that the torturous roads of hatred and revenge be left behind leading to a path of trust and dialogue.

The Pope also made an appeal for Iraq saying that while there was continued anxiety for the well being of Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Rahho who was kidnapped in Mosel on February the 29th, many Iraqis remain caught up in a blind and absurd violence that was opposed to the will of God.

Pope Benedict made these appeals during the Angelus in Saint Peter’s Square were he also discussed Sunday’s Gospel.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. We also hear how Martha, in the midst of her grief, was able to make her great profession of faith: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.” As we approach the season of Our Lord’s Passion, we pray that our own faith may be strengthened, so that we too can place all our hope in him who is the resurrection and the life.

Following the Angelus the Holy Father turned his attention to Young People, saying that on March 13 he would be presiding over a Penitential Liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica for the youth of the Diocese of Rome. He told the gathered faithful that it would be a strong moment of preparation for the 23rd World Youth Day which will be celebrated on Palm Sunday and will culminate in the great meeting of Youth in Sydney in July.

Pope Benedict’s day had begun on a youthful theme when he visited the Vatican’s San Lorenzo International Youth Centre to celebrate Mass.

The Centre is located in the Church of San Lorenzo Piscibus near St Peter’s Square, and is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

This seminarian spoke about being chosen to be one of the servers at the Mass.

Every seminarian hopes to serve for the Holy Father at some point, but I didn’t expect that it would be happening in my first year or so quickly.

During the mass the Pope spoke of his joy at being with them for their anniversary and thanked those gathered for the warmth of their welcome.

The Centre’s celebrations continue from the 13th to the 16th of March.

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