Pope John Paul II centered his Angelus prayer on Sunday on the critical situation of children in the world who are victims of illness, hunger and violence.
The Pontiff stressed that many children suffer not only from malnutrition and “worrisome sanitary deprivations” but lack “even the minimum necessary for survival.” “In several places of the world,” he added, “especially the poorest countries, there are children and adolescents who are victims of a horrible form of violence: they are enlisted to fight in the so-called ‘forgotten conflicts’.”
“They undergo in fact a scandalous double aggression: they become both victims and at the same time protagonists of the war, overcome by the hatred of adults. Deprived of everything, they see their future threatened by a nightmare that is difficult to remove,” the Pope said.
“These little brothers and sisters of ours who suffer hunger, war and illness,” he continued, “are making an anguished appeal to the world of adults. May their silent cry of pain not go unheard! Jesus reminds us: ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me’.”