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Pope raps Mideast violence

Pope Benedict condemned what he described as a mentality of violence in the Middle East.

“Our thoughts turn in a particular way to the Holy Land … and the whole Middle East,” Benedict said Sunday in a sermon in the Italian town of Assisi. “The populations of those countries have known for too long the horrors of combat, of terrorism, of blind violence, of the illusion that force can resolve conflicts, of the refusal to listen to the reasons of other people and grant them justice.”

Benedict’s remarks appeared to have been prompted by the recent infighting in Lebanon and Gaza. He did not mention Israel or the Palestinians specifically.

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