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Apr 24th, 2011

In Easter Message, Pope Urges Diplomacy in Libya

“In heaven, all is peace and gladness. But, alas, all is not so on earth!”

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful upon his arrival in St. Peter’s square to celebrate Easter mass at the Vatican, Sunday, April 24, 2011. (Photo credit: Gregorio Borgia / AP)

By Frances D’Emilio

April 24, 2011

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI offered an Easter prayer Sunday for diplomacy to prevail over warfare in Libya and for citizens of the Middle East to build a new society based on respect. …

“In heaven, all is peace and gladness. But, alas, all is not so on earth!” the pope lamented as he delivered the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to a crowd of more than 100,000 that overflowed from St. Peter’s Square.

“In the current conflict in Libya, may diplomacy and dialogue replace arms, and may those who suffer as a result of the conflict be given access to humanitarian aid,” he said. …

This year, Easter fell on the same day in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic church calendars, and in Jerusalem, Orthodox and Catholics worshipped at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the site of Jesus’ Good Friday crucifixion and burial and of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Protestants held their own ceremonies outside the walled Old City at the Garden Tomb, which some identify as the site of Jesus’ burial. …

Benedict returns to the square in a week to lead a crowd expected to be at least double Easter’s turnout when he beatifies John Paul, putting the Polish-born, long-serving pontiff on the last formal step before eventual sainthood.

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Image: Pope Benedict XVI holds a cross
Pope Benedict XVI
AFP — Getty Images

Easter 2011

In resurrectione tua, Christe, coeli et terra laetentur!
“In your resurrection, O Christ, let heaven and earth rejoice!”

Read more


Related reports on this site

The Pope’s Christmas Message 2010 (Dec. 25, 2010)

Bloody Easter in Baghdad (April 4, 2010)

The Pope’s Christmas Message 2009 (Dec. 25, 2009)

Easter Attack on U.S. Supply Line (April 12, 2009)

The Pope’s Christmas Message 2008 (Dec. 25, 2008)


4/25/11 Update

7 Wounded in Bombing Outside Baghdad Church

Iraqi Christians have faced a recent wave of violence

By Saad Abdul-Kadir

April 24, 2011

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi police official says seven people have been wounded by a roadside bomb outside the entrance of a Baghdad church.

The official says the blast took place Sunday just yards from the Sacred Heart Church in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood. Shrapnel from the bomb struck the outside of the building.

The officer said no parishioners were inside and services had not been held in the building. …

Iraqi Christians have faced a recent wave of violence, including an attack last year against a Baghdad church that killed 68 people. …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Christian children pray at the destroyed church of St. Rum’s in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood. Five churches were attacked in one day in pre-dawn bombings on July 12, 2009.

Christians Fleeing New Iraq (Jan. 20, 2011)

Christians Persecuted in Iraq (Dec. 30, 2010)

After Saddam, Christian Persecution in New Iraq (Dec. 19, 2010)

Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq (Nov. 3, 2010)

Catholic Hostages Killed in Iraq (Oct. 31, 2010)

In Iraq, an Exodus of Christians (May 16, 2009)

Christians on the Run in Iraq (Nov. 26, 2008)

Christians Flee Iraqi City (Oct. 12, 2008)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — April 24, 2010

Security Breached at U.S. Base in Afghanistan

Security forces secure the site of a suicide bomb attack at the main gate of a NATO military airport in Kabul on September 8, 2009. (Photo credit: Massoud Hossaini / AFP — Getty Images)

One year ago today, I reported that an explosion that killed an American and an Afghan soldier on a military base in Kabul on April 19, 2010 was carried out by a suicide bomber, the second time in five months an insurgent had managed to infiltrate a base.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — April 24, 2009

Second Day of Bloodshed in Baghdad

Two years ago today, on April 24, 2009, I reported that back-to-back suicide bombings killed 60 people outside the most important Shiite shrine in Baghdad, a day after the country was rocked by its most deadly violence in more than a year. The bombings, in which nearly 80 people were killed, were the latest in a series of high-profile attacks blamed on Sunni insurgents. Meanwhile, a new review of available evidence compiled by The Associated Press indicated that more than 110,600 Iraqis had died in violence since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

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