Saturday, 13 May 2006

The month of April for the Holy Father Benedict XVI was marked by the last days of Lent and Holy Week and then Easter, days of intense prayer. Pope Benedict XVI presided the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, the same Via Crucis for which last year he wrote the meditations. On Easter Sunday in his Message pronounced before giving the Urbi et Orbi Blessing from the central balcony of St Peter’s Pope Benedict XVI, besides recalling that the Resurrection of Christ is the central mystery of the Christian faith, Pope Benedict XVI made a solemn appeal to the international community, calling for attention and assistance for people in the world most affected by poverty and violence. “May the Spirit of the Risen Lord - the Pontiff said in his Easter Message - May the Spirit of the Risen one, in particular, bring relief and security in Africa to the peoples of Darfur, who are living in a dramatic humanitarian situation that is no longer sustainable; to those of the Great Lakes region, where many wounds have yet to be healed; to the peoples of the Horn of Africa, of the Ivory Coast, Uganda, Zimbabwe and other nations which aspire to reconciliation, justice and progress. In Iraq, may peace finally prevail over the tragic violence that continues mercilessly to claim victims. I also pray sincerely that those caught up in the conflict in the Holy Land may find peace, and I invite all to patient and persevering dialogue, so as to remove both ancient and new obstacles. May the international community, which re-affirms Israel’s just right to exist in peace, assist the Palestinian people to overcome the precarious conditions in which they live and to build their future, moving towards the constitution of a state that is truly their own. May the Spirit of the Risen one enkindle a renewed enthusiastic commitment of the Countries of Latin America, so that the living conditions of millions of citizens may be improved, the deplorable scourge of kidnapping may be eradicated and democratic institutions may be consolidated in a spirit of harmony and effective solidarity. Concerning the international crises linked to nuclear power, may an honourable solution be found for all parties, through serious and honest negotiations, and may the leaders of nations and of International Organisations be strengthened in their will to achieve peaceful coexistence among different races, cultures and religions, in order to remove the threat of terrorism”.