Pope Benedict XVI appeals for immediate ceasefire and 'peace' in Middle East
Sunday, July 30, 2006
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI appealed Sunday for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East, hours after the deadliest attack in nearly three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
"In the name of God, I appeal to all those responsible for this spiral of violence, so that they immediately put down their arms on all sides," the pope told pilgrims and tourists at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, on the outskirts of Rome. Pausing slightly, he repeated the word "immediately."
"I appeal to governing leaders and to international institutions not to spare any effort to obtain this necessary cessation of hostilities," the pontiff said.
Much of the international community has been calling for an immediate ceasefire, but Israel and the United States have resisted, saying a settlement should address enduring issues between Lebanon and Israel and disable Hezbollah.
The faithful in the papal palace courtyard chanted "Peace! Peace! Peace!" in Italian, briefly interrupting the pontiff.
Benedict embraced their call. "Peace, yes," he said, before resuming his remarks.
"In this moment I cannot help but think of the situation, ever more grave and more tragic, that the Middle East is going through: hundreds of dead, so many wounded, a huge number of the homeless and refugees, houses, cities and infrastructure destroyed," Benedict said. "These facts demonstrate clearly that you cannot re-establish justice, create a new order and build authentic peace when you resort to instruments of violence."
It was Benedict's strongest appeal since the violence erupted. Benedict urged all to pray "so that He may give his peace to that region and to the whole world."
Benedict also urged the intensification of humanitarian aid efforts. Lebanon, which has a sizeable Maronite Catholic community, has asked the Vatican for helping in ending the warfare. The Pope has said he would contribute through appeals for peace, not political involvement.
© The Canadian Press 2006
Saturday, July 29, 2006
I got a kick out of this news story. It sort of redefines the meaning of vacation. Enjoy.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
From Follow the Faith by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. in Columbia July 2006, page 21
As Pope Benedict told young people in World Youth Day last August in Cologne, German: "Many of the ideas put forward by modern society have led nowhere and many young people have ended up mired in alcohol and drugs or in the clutches of extremist groups."
There comes a time in everyone's life when the question must be asked; Do I believe that human beings have a special dignity and worth and I should live my life accordingly? More simply, do I wish to live as a human being or as a beast? The time has come to choose....
If you believe there is a purpose to your life, then gather the courage to take on the most truly countercultural task you can imagine and embrace your Catholic faith with all the energy you can muster. That, you can be assured, is a decision you will never regret.
Lately I've been reading quite a lot of Benedict XVI's writings. Well, a lot for me anyway. The main thing I've noticed is that as much as I loved John Paul II, I did not find him readable. Benedict, on the other hand, has captured my imagination and my mind. This short introduction to my thoughts is just to get this blog started. I'll edit and add more later.