“Just as so many times I have cried with the Iraqi people, on this occasion I rejoiced with them,”, said a visibly moved Pope Benedict XVI at the end of his General Audience today.
Speaking in the Paul VI auditorium, the Pope made a point of referring to the victory of the Iraqi soccer team which won the Asia Cup tournament July 30th, spectacularly beating Saudi Arabia 1-0. He said the news created a “popular explosion of joy” which spread throughout the country, and was a moment which “revealed the desire of the people to have a normal life of serenity”.
“It is my hope,” he said, “that this event, with everyone's support, may contribute to a future in Iraq of real peace in liberty and mutual respect. Congratulations!”