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Holy See on Gaza Conflict

16 Jan 2009 URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI

CHRISTMAS 2008

(…)
May the many people who continue to dwell in darkness and the shadow of death (cf. Lk 1:79) come to know the power of God’s saving grace! May the divine Light of Bethlehem radiate throughout the Holy Land, where the horizon seems once again bleak for Israelis and Palestinians. May it spread throughout Lebanon, Iraq and the whole Middle East. May it bring forth rich fruit from the efforts of all those who, rather than resigning themselves to the twisted logic of conflict and violence, prefer instead the path of dialogue and negotiation as the means of resolving tensions within each country and finding just and lasting solutions to the conflicts troubling the region. This light, which brings transformation and renewal, is besought by the people of Zimbabwe, in Africa, trapped for all too long in a political and social crisis which, sadly, keeps worsening, as well as the men and women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in the war-torn region of Kivu, Darfur, in Sudan, and Somalia, whose interminable sufferings are the tragic consequence of the lack of stability and peace. This light is awaited especially by the children living in those countries, and the children of all countries experiencing troubles, so that their future can once more be filled with hope (…).

BENEDICT XVI
ANGELUS St Peter’s Square
Sunday, 28 December 2008

Appeal for an end to violence in the Holy Land

Dear brothers and sisters, the Holy Land, which during the days of Christmas has been at the centre of the thought and affection of the faithful in every part of the world, is once again being devastated by an outbreak of unprecedented violence. I am deeply distressed over the deaths, the injured, the material damage, the suffering and the tears of the peoples who are victims of this tragic sequence of attacks and reprisals. The earthly homeland of Jesus cannot continue to witness such bloodshed that is endlessly repeated! I implore an end to that violence, which is to be condemned in all its forms and a restoration of the truce in the Gaza Strip. I ask for an impulse of humanity and wisdom in all who have responsibility in this situation; I implore the international community to leave no stone unturned to help Israelis and Palestinians to emerge from this blind alley and not to be resigned, as I said two days ago in my Urbi et Orbi Message, to the perverse logic of conflict and violence but rather to privilege the path of dialogue and negotiation. Let us entrust our fervent prayers for these intentions to Jesus, Prince of Peace, and let us say to him, to Mary and to Joseph: “O family of Nazareth, expert in suffering, give peace to the world”. Give it today to the Holy Land especially!

SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
AND 42nd WORLD DAY OF PEACE
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI St Peter’s Basilica
Thursday, 1st January 2009





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