Speaking in Italian at the end of this Wednesday’s General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI made an appeal to end violence in Tibet.
“I follow with great trepidation the news that in these days is coming from the Tibet. My fatherly heart feels sadness and pain before the suffering of so many people,” the Pontiff said.
“The mystery of Jesus’ passion and death, which we commemorate in this Holy Week, helps us to be particularly sensitive to their situation,” he added.
The Pope remarked that “problems are not resolved with violence, but worsened.”
He finally invited faithful around the world to “join me in prayer. Let us ask that God omnipotent may enlighten the minds of all and give every one the courage to choose the road of dialogue and tolerance.”
The Tibet was violently annexed by Communist China in 1951.
Tibet's government-in-exile says at least 80 people have died in the violence following protests that began March 10 on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising. Chinese officials say 16 people were killed.
The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual and political leader, asked Tibetan activists to end their confrontational march to Tibet on Wednesday while exiles pressed ahead with peaceful protests in northern India and New Delhi.