Pope Appeals for Peace in Israel, Palestine in Easter Address
12 Apr 2009
Vatican City: April 12, 2009. (Bloomberg) Pope Benedict XVI called for renewed efforts to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinian territories as he conducted Easter celebrations in St. Peter’s Square.
“Reconciliation, difficult, but indispensable, is a precondition for a future of overall security and peaceful co-existence, and it can only be achieved through renewed, persevering and sincere efforts to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict,” Pope Benedict said today in front of the loggia of the 16th century St. Peter’s Basilica in his Easter message.
The pope, who turns 82 on April 16, will travel next month to Israel and the Palestinian territories during his first visit as pontiff to the Holy Land. The visit to Amman, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth will take place May 8-15.
“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,” the pontiff said.
He gave his traditional Easter greeting in 63 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew.