Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pope begs God: stop terrorists

Valle d'Aosta, Jul. 25 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) invoked God's protection to "block the murderous hand" of terrorists, during his Sunday audience on July 24.

After leading the Angelus, in the second Sunday audience held during his vacation in the Italian Alps, the Pope remarked that "these days of serenity and repose have been disrupted by the tragic news of the execrable terrorist attacks" in England, Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq. He offered his prayers and sympathies for the victims of those struck by "gestures that offend both God and man," and appealed to God to stop the terrorists.

Pope Benedict has repeatedly condemned terrorism, while arguing that the phenomenon reflects "not a conflict between civilizations but just small fanatical groups." He has insisted that terrorists represent only a small and extreme portion of the world's Muslims, and suggested that dialogue with responsible Islamic leaders could help to discourage such radicalism.

Toward that end, the Pontiff has scheduled a meeting with Muslim leaders in Cologne, to take place during his visit to the German city for World Youth Day in August. Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters that the meeting was not listed on the original schedule for the papal visit, but was added later "when it was clear that the Pope wanted it." Pope Benedict has observed that the meeting could serve as a signal to Muslims generally of the desire for peaceful discussion: "an invitation to abandon terrorism."

On July 10, in his first public audience after the July 7 bombings in London, the Pope appealed to terrorists "in God's name, stop!" In a telegraphed message of condolence, he referred to the attacks as "barbarous." This weekend the Pope sent similar messages of condolence to the victims of fresh terrorist attacks in Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq.

The Pope's Sunday audience on July 24 was held in Valle d'Aosta, where he is enjoying his summer vacation. He will leave the Alpine resort on July 28, to spend the remainder of the summer at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?