Monday, December 26, 2011

Pope Prays for Peace for Nigeria

Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the victims of famine, floods and conflict round the world in his ancient Christmas message on Sunday, following a deadly explosion close to a church in Nigeria.

"Let us flip our gaze anew to the grotto of Bethlehem. the kid whom we have a tendency to ponder is our salvation. He has dropped at the globe a universal message of reconciliation and peace," he told thousands of pilgrims within the Vatican.

The pope urged the international community to help those full of hunger within the Horn of Africa, required an finish to the bloodshed in Syria and said he hoped this year's Arab revolts would aid the "common smart."

He conjointly prayed for the victims of recent flooding in Thailand and also the Philippines that he said were enduring "grave hardships" and said he hoped for increased dialogue in Myanmar "in the pursuit of shared solutions."

The pope's strongest words were against wars and in favour of reconciliation, significantly between Israelis and Palestinians within the Holy Land however conjointly within the nice Lakes Region of Africa and also the new nation of South Sudan.

"May the Lord return to the help of our world torn by such a big amount of conflicts that even nowadays stain the planet with blood . . . could he bring an finish to the violence in Syria, where such a lot blood has already been shed,"he said.

"May he grant renewed vigour to any or all components of society within the countries of North Africa and also the Middle East as they attempt to advance the common smart," he added, following the revolts in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Concluding his message, the pope voiced Christmas greetings in sixty five languages as well as Aramaic, Icelandic and Samoan to cheers from the group.

"God is that the Saviour: we have a tendency to are people who are in peril. he's the physician: we have a tendency to are the infirm," he told them.

"To understand this is often the primary step towards salvation, towards rising from the maze during which we've got been locked by our pride."

At Christmas Eve mass in Saint Peter's Basilica, the pope had lamented the consumerism surrounding a vacation "whose bright lights hide the mystery of God's humility, that in turns calls us to humility and ease."

"Let us raise the Lord to assist us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to get behind it the kid within the stable in Bethlehem, thus on notice true joy and true light-weight," the 84-year-old pope said.

He conjointly rebuked "oppressors" and warmongers round the world.

"In now of ours, during this world of ours, cause the oppressors' rods, the cloaks rolled in blood and also the footgear of battle to be burned, so your peace could triumph during this world of ours," he said.

Peace was conjointly a central theme in Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal's Christmas Eve homily delivered in Bethlehem, where hotels and guesthouses were packed to capability with pilgrims.

"We raise for peace, stability and security for the complete Middle East," said Twal, the foremost senior Roman Catholic within the region.

In a midnight mass, he urged "the come of calm and reconciliation in Syria, in Egypt, in Iraq and in North Africa".

"O kid of Bethlehem, during this New Year, we have a tendency to place in your hands this troubled Middle East and, above all, our youth jam-packed with legitimate aspirations, who are pissed off by the economic and political state of affairs, and in search of a much better future," Twal said.

Bethlehem, the biblical birthplace of Jesus saw a number of its largest crowds of tourists in years for the Christmas competition, bringing cheer to the troubled West Bank, whereas celebrations conjointly passed while not incident in Iraq.

However a bomb went off close to a Catholic church outside the Nigerian capital Abuja, killing a minimum of fifteen individuals, within the latest attack to rock the religiously divided country, conjointly hit by deadly Christmas attacks in 2010.

Another explosion was heard later within the day within the central town of Jos close to a church, however details weren't immediately out there, residents said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though Nigeria has been rocked by bomb blasts and shootings attributed to Islamist cluster Boko Haram.

The cluster claimed responsibility for the August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja that killed a minimum of twenty four individuals. The string of bomb blasts in Jos on Christmas Eve 2010 were conjointly claimed by Boko Haram.

In recent days in 3 cities within the northeast, where most of the violence attributed to Boko Haram has occurred, attacks blamed on the sect followed by an important military crackdown have killed up to a hundred individuals.

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