Pope urges hope to end war, poverty on Easter
VATICAN CITY – Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and said the entire world needed to rediscover hope to end wars, poverty and financial turmoil.said Sunday that reconciliation was the only way to resolve the
In his Easter Sunday message, delivered from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict noted that he plans to travel to the Holy Land in just a few weeks and said he would bring a message of hope and love to the region.
The 81-year-old pope tripped as he climbed up to his gilded chair on the loggia, but recovered without incident and delivered his speech to the crowds below.
"Reconciliation — difficult but indispensable — is a precondition for a future of overall security and peaceful coexistence, and it can only be achieved through renewed, persevering and sincere efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said.
Benedict delivered his "" speech — Latin for "to the city and the world" — at the end of his Easter Sunday Mass, attended by tens of thousands of people who packed St. Peter's Square and the boulevard leading up to it.
The piazza, decorated with yellow tulips, azaleas and other spring flowers, overflowed with the faithful who came out on an overcast day to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection, the most joyous and important day in the Christian church calendar.
The crowd shouted "Benedetto" — Italian for Benedict — as they waited for him to appear at the loggia. They cheered as they awaited his Easter blessing, this year being delivered in 63 languages..
In his first greeting — in Italian — Benedict offered special Easter wishes for the victims of Italy's devastating earthquake, praying that they have "the courage necessary to go forward together to build a future open to hope."
In his speech, Benedict said it was "urgent" to find hope around the globe, despite mounting reasons for despair.
"At a time of world food shortage, of financial turmoil, of old and new forms of poverty, of disturbing climate change, of violence and deprivation which force many to leave their homelands in search of a less precarious form of existence, of the ever present threat of terrorism, of growing fears over the future, it is urgent to rediscover grounds for hope," he said.
He recalled his recent trip to Africa in urging the faithful to keep up hope to combat poverty and wars.
"Africa suffers disproportionately from the cruel and unending conflicts, often forgotten, that are causing so much bloodshed and destruction in several of her nations, and from the growing numbers of her sons and daughters who fall prey to hunger, poverty and disease," Benedict said.
Benedict celebrated Easter Mass after presiding over the solemn, three-plus-hourceremony Saturday night. At the end of that service, Benedict sounded hoarse and looked tired.
But the pope — who turns 82 on Thursday — appeared well-rested by Sunday morning and held up well throughout the Mass.
He is expected to travel Sunday afternoon to the papal summer retreat in , in the hills south of Rome, for a few days of rest after the busy Holy Week services.
The pope's May 8-15 Middle East tour, his first to the region as pope, will include Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, with stops in cities including Amman, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.
Comment: Today is Easter Sunday of 2009. No matter what our personal religious beliefs, whether we are commited Christians, religious zealots or detached atheists mentally separate from a cosmic consciousness of the Creator, today is a global celebration of the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ of
There are three kinds of believers: the true believer, the make believer and the non-believer. People have the humane right to belief what they want to believe. Our role as humane beings is to engage people in conversations about what is real truth and what is a lie. A lie is the truth perverted. We all have free will and the right to use our consciousness in whatever we want in our perception of truth. Each of us has our own version of the truth and we agree when and where our different truths converge and merge together.
Naturally, Easter is widely celebrated throughout the world today, at different time zones in different places, but the symbolic significance of it all should not be lost on those who are caught in the cross fires of religious wars who do not know that all these struggles throughout the world are forms of spiritual warfare between the forces of the good light and the the forces of dark evils. More will be revealed….
Education for Liberation!
Peter S. Lopez aka: Peta