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Papal Palm Sunday Address - 'Enough With the Bloodshed'

On Iraq and Sydney

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 17, 2008 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered Sunday after Palm Sunday Mass and before reciting the midday Angelus with thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

At the end of this solemn celebration in which we have meditated on Christ's Passion, I would like to recall the late Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Monsignor Paulos Faraj Rahho, who tragically died a few days ago. His beautiful witness of fidelity to Christ, to the Church and his people, whom he did not want to abandon despite numerous threats, moves me to cry out forcefully and with distress: Enough with the bloodshed, enough with the violence, enough with the hatred in Iraq! And at the same time I make an appeal to the Iraqi people, who for five years have endured the consequences of a war that has provoked upheaval in its civil and social life: Beloved Iraqi people, lift up your heads and let it be you yourselves who, in the first place, rebuild your national life! May reconciliation, forgiveness, justice and respect for the civil coexistence of tribes, ethnic groups and religious groups be the solidary way to peace in the name of God!

And now, dear brothers and sisters, I renew my cordial greeting. I address it in a special way to young people, come from many countries of the world on the occasion of the World Youth Day, which the beloved Servant of God John Paul II wanted to link with Palm Sunday. In this moment my thoughts turn to Sydney, in Australia, where the preparations are under way for the great meeting that I will have with the young people of the whole world from July 15 to 20 of this year. I thank the Italian bishops' conference, Cardinal Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, and his collaborators in particular, for all the work that they are doing with such commitment. I am also grateful to the Australian federal and state officials for the generous support offered to this important initiative. See you in Sydney!

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

[After the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

I welcome the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here this Palm Sunday, when we acclaim Jesus, model of humility, our Messiah and King. In a special way I greet all the young people gathered in Rome. I am looking forward to seeing many of you, together with thousands of others from across the globe, at World Youth Day in Sydney. Today, I wish to recognize the preparatory work being undertaken by the Australian Bishops' Conference together with Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, and the organizing staff. Similarly I wish to acknowledge the spirit of generous cooperation shown by the Federal and the New South Wales governments, as well as the residents and business people of Sydney. Let us all pray for our young people, that World Youth Day will be a time of deep and lasting spiritual renewal. May the great events of Holy Week, in which we see love unfold in its most radical form, inspire you all to be courageous 'witnesses of charity' to your friends, your communities and our world. Upon each of you present and your families, I invoke God's blessings of peace and wisdom.

© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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