Appeal for Mideast Peace
by the Pope
30 Jul 2006
"So That They Immediately Put Down Their Weapons"
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 30, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the prepared
text of the address Benedict XVI gave today before reciting the midday
Angelus with the people who gathered at the summer papal residence
in Castel Gandolfo.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Two days ago, my stay in the Aosta Valley finished, I came directly
here to Castel Gandolfo, where I intend to remain until the end of
the summer, with a brief interruption in September for the apostolic
visit to Bavaria. I wish, first of all, to address my affectionate
greetings to the ecclesial and civil community of this beautiful town,
where I am always happy to come to.
I cordially thank the bishop of Albano, the parish and the priests,
as well as the mayor and municipal administration and the other civil
authorities. A special thought goes to the directorate and personnel
of the pontifical villa, as well as to the police, whom I thank for
their valuable service.
Moreover, I greet the many pilgrims who, with their warm presence,
contribute to making evident, also in the homier atmosphere of this
summer residence, the universal ecclesial dimension of this, our appointment
for the Marian prayer.
In this moment I cannot help think of the situation, ever more grave
and more tragic, that the Middle East is going through: hundreds of
dead, many wounded, a huge number of the homeless and refugees; houses,
towns and infrastructure destroyed; meanwhile, hatred and the desire
for revenge grow in the hearts of many.
These facts demonstrate clearly that you cannot re-establish justice,
establish a new order and build authentic peace when you resort to
instruments of violence.
More than ever we see how prophetic and altogether realistic is the
voice of the Church when, in the face of wars and conflicts of every
kind, it points out the path of truth, justice, love and liberty (cf.
in Terris"). Humanity must also cross this path today to achieve the
good desire for true peace.
In the name of God, I appeal to all those responsible for this spiral
of violence, so that they immediately put down their weapons on all
sides! I ask governing leaders and international organizations not
to spare any effort to obtain this necessary halt to hostilities and
so to be able to begin to build, through dialogue, a lasting and stable
concord for all the people of the Middle East.
I appeal to all people of good to continue and to intensify the shipment
of humanitarian help to those populations so tested and needy. But
especially [I ask that] every heart continue to raise the hopeful
prayer to the good and merciful God, so that he grants his peace to
that region and to the whole world.
We entrust this sorrowful petition to the intercession of May, Mother
of the Prince of Peace and Queen of Peace, so venerated in Mideast
countries, where we hope to see soon reign this reconciliation for
which the Lord Jesus has offered his precious Blood.
[Translation of the Italian by ZENIT]
[After the Angelus the Pope spoke in a number of languages. In English
I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors
present for this Sunday Angelus, especially the group of young people
of the Regnum Christi Movement.
In today's Gospel we see Jesus feeding the hungry multitudes. With
the same generous love he continues to offer us daily the Bread of
Life. May the Eucharist sustain us always in our love of God, and
open our hearts to our neighbors, especially to those in need! I wish
you all a blessed Sunday!
[In Italian he said:]
I greet with affection the Italian-language pilgrims, recalling that
in the coming days we will mark the memorials of some great saints:
tomorrow, St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits; on Aug.
2, St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists; on Aug.
4, St. John Mary Vianney, the curé of Ars, patron of parishes. The
example and the intercession of these luminous witnesses help us to
progress on the path of sanctity.
[Italian original: © Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana]
reprinted with permission by ZENIT
Alan Ames Ministry