Renewed Call by Pope for Middle East Peace
Pope John Paul II on Tuesday reiterated his Christmas call for a Middle East peace settlement with a reminder that Bethlehem was where the angels had proclaimed peace on earth.
Addressing tens of thousands of worshippers from a window of his private Vatican apartment, the pontiff said: "The peace which is awaited and so much hoped for is the only way to calm the conscience and the heart of each and every one."
In his traditional Christmas Day "Urbi and Orbi" blessing on Monday, Pope John Paul denounced violence in the Middle East and the "culture of death" threatening the future of the world.
"I am thinking with great concern of the Holy Land, where violence continues to stain with blood the difficult path to peace," the pontiff said before thousands of pilgrims who had come to hear him -- VATICAN CITY (AFP)
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