BY SCO Admin | April 5 2013 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-POPE-BLESSING

Pope prays for world peace

Holy Father appeals for justice and peace to flourish in his first Easter Urbi et Orbi address

Pope Francis has issued a passionate plea for all Catholics to join him in praying for peace around the world, in his first Easter Sunday message since being elected.

The Holy Father used his Easter Urbi et Orbi address to call for peace across the globe but singled out ‘dear Syria,’ saying: “How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution is found?”

“Let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish,” the Pope said after celebrating Mass on Easter Sunday morning.

“Let us pray for peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this 21st century,” he added, making special reference to the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Vatican

Easter dawned with blue skies and sunshine in Rome, but as the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square, dark clouds began gathering overhead. In spite of this, some 250,000 people were present for the Mass, and thousands more arrived for the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing.

The steps leading to St Peter’s Basilica and to the altar were decorated with thousands of flowers, trees and bushes. The Dutch Flower Growers’ Association provided 20,000 tulips, 10,000 daffodils and 3000 white roses in addition to small birch, maple and mulberry trees.

Urbi et Orbi

Like his predecessors, Pope Francis did not give a homily during the morning Mass, but spoke during his Urbi et Orbi address about the significance of the Resurrection for individuals and for the world. But unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis did not read quick Easter greetings in dozens of languages, although the brief phrases had been prepared for him.

Rather, in his message, he told people, ‘Jesus is risen, there is hope for you; you are no longer in the power of sin, evil.’

Easter, the Pope said, ‘is the exodus, the passage of human beings from slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness.’

However, he added, that passage must be renewed in every age and in every human heart.

—Read Urbi et Orbi in full at http://www.sconews.co.uk/opinion/27157/pope-francis-urbi-et-orbi-easter-message-2013

—ian@sconews.co.uk

—This story was published in full in the April 5 print edition of the SCO

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