Pope reiterates comments of predecessors, prays for peace in the Middle East

.- At the conclusion of his weekly general audience, today, Pope Benedict prayed again for an end to the conflicts in the Middle East and recalled the words of previous Popes on the issue of peace.

Speaking from the auditorium named for his predecessor, Benedict quoted Pope Paul VI in his 1965 address to the United Nations.  The late Pontiff told the General Assembly “no more the one against the other, no more, never! If you want to be brothers, let the arms fall from your hands.”

The conflict between Israel and Islamic militant group, Hezbollah, continues to escalate.  A ceasefire agreement drafted by the United States and France failed today and hostilities have continued.

Pope Benedict told the gathered crowd, “Facing the efforts in action to finally reach a ceasefire and a just and lasting solution to the conflict I repeat, with my immediate predecessor, John Paul II, that it is possible to change the course of events when reason, good will, confidence in the other, prevails, the implementation of agreements are employed and cooperation (is had) between responsible partners.”

“To all,” the Pope concluded, “I renew the exhortation to intensify prayer to obtain the desired gift of peace.”

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