Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pope's Easter Day message: peace for war-torn regions

Pope's Easter Day message: peace for war-torn regions
Sunday, March 23, 2008 | 5:09 PM ET CBC News

Thousands of pilgrims, residents and tourists went to St. Peter's Square in Rome in dismal weather Sunday to hear Pope Benedict XVI give Easter mass, followed by a speech calling for peace in the world's strife-torn regions.

He mentioned Darfur, Somalia, Iraq, the Middle East, and Tibet, "all of which I encourage to seek solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good."

The Pope also denounced "selfishness, injustice, hatred and violence" as the "scourges of humanity, open and festering in every corner of the planet."

He was protected from the weather by a white canopy over the steps of St. Peter's Basilica, but the crowd braved a fierce rainstorm and thunder that drowned out a band playing in the square.

Easter is an important period for Christians because it marks the resurrection of Jesus following his crucifixion, a central tenet of the faith.

At Canterbury Cathedral, the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, used his Easter message to warn against "anxious and acquisitive" lifestyles.

In Kandahar, hundreds of Canadian soldiers attended Easter services in a small chapel.

"We're all in this together … it is important that we support each other in this journey," Canadian chaplain Rev. Bastien LeClerc said.

Pilgrims visited Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, the city where they believe Jesus rose from the dead two millennia ago.

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