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The Pope shocked at the senseless violence in Denver and upset about the victims of the shipwreck in Zanzibar

The Evil One always endeavours to spoil God’s work, sowing divisions in human hearts and in interpersonal, social and international relations. It is therefore necessary to make the most of the opportunity offered by the upcoming Olympic Games in London to live them as “an experience of brotherhood among the earth’s peoples”.

For this reason, Benedict XVI — addressing the numerous pilgrims  at Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, 22 July for the recitation of the Angelus — asked them to pray, showing that the Church looks “with special favour and attention” at this event which has a “strong symbolic value”.

Drawing inspiration from the Sunday liturgy, the Pope recalled that  “the Evil One sows war”, while “God creates peace”. To respond to this challenge and to carry out that task of radical reconciliation which the world urgently needs, it is necessary to follow in Jesus' footsteps and make oneself a “Lamb”.  The Pope put special emphasis on the great opportunity to do this that is offered by the Olympic Games and went back to reaffirm the concept he had just expressed, also in the greeting he addressed to several English-speaking groups of the faithful present in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo. He also mentioned in this regard the ancient “spirit of the Olympic Truce”, invoked at the beginning of the event in ancient Greece, to ask for a truce between the belligerent so as to guarantee the athletes who arrived in Olympia a safe passage through enemy territory. Again, in the words he addressed to the faithful who had come from various countries of the world, the Pope revealed that the was “deeply shocked by the senseless violence which took place in Aurora”, a city in the Province of Denver in the United States of America, and “saddened by the loss of human lives” in the recent ferry disaster near Zanzibar, Tanzania. He also assured the families of the victims, “especially the children”, of his closeness.

After: Osservatore Romano, July 24, 2012

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