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December 25, 2004

Pope delivers sombre message

Topics: International News

-BBC News UK
The Pope has delivered his annual Christmas message to thousands of followers in Rome's St Peter's Square.

The frail pontiff, 84, used his sermon to express "grave apprehension" over the continuing conflict in Iraq.


(Click image to enlarge)

He described violence in all its forms as a "source of untold suffering", and voiced fears about suffering in Sudan and hopes for peace in the Middle East.

As thousands sheltered from rain, the Pope spoke of "invincible confidence" about eventual peace in the Holy Land.


(Click image to enlarge)

"I think of Africa, of the tragedy of Darfur in Sudan, of the Ivory Coast and of the Great Lakes Region" he said in his Urbi et Orbi address.   

"With great apprehension I follow the situation in Iraq.

"And how can I fail to look with anxious concern, but also with invincible confidence, toward that Land of which You are a son," he added, referring to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The Pope concluded: "Let there be an end to the numerous situations of unrest which risk degenerating into open conflict.

"Let there arise a firm will to seek peaceful solutions, respectful of the legitimate aspirations of individuals and peoples."

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Posted by Hyscience at December 25, 2004 4:45 PM

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