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Pope Benedict XVI’s Midnight Mass

  • December 25th, 2008
  • Posted by Amelia Birnie

pope.jpgPope Benedict XVI delivered his traditional Christmas Midnight Mass to a huge congregation at the St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

As midnight neared, Pope Benedict, in white and gold-threaded vestments, walked up the main aisle of the flood-lit St Peter’s Basilica, smiling and stopping several times to shake outstretched hands and bless children.

For those unable to enter, giant screens were set up in St Peter’s Square.

PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The Pope used his sermon to call for an end to “hatred and violence” in the Middle East and for a new understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.

Pope Benedict urged people to pray that “hearts will be opened, so borders will be opened”.

The 81-year-old Pope plans to visit Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories next May, although final details of his trip have yet to be worked out.

SAVE THE CHILDREN

Also in his homily, Pope Benedict appealed for an end to child abuse.

“Let us think of those street children who do not have the blessing of a family home, of those children who are brutally exploited as soldiers and made instruments of violence, instead of messengers of reconciliation and peace,” he said.

“Let us think of those children who are victims of the industry of pornography and every other appalling form of abuse, and thus are traumatized to the depths of their soul.”

The Pope will deliver his Christmas Day message from St Peter’s later.

Reference:

BBC News, Middle East, “Pope appeals for Mid-East peace”, 25.12.08

International Herald Tribune,  Paris, “Text of Pope Benedict XVI’s Midnight Mass homily”, 25.12.08

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