Pope Benedict XVI in his annual Easter message noted some “signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority” while lamenting the “continual slaughter” in Iraq. Also citing unrest in Afghanistan, the pontiff denounced terrorism and kidnappings, and “the thousand faces of violence which some people attempt to justify in the name of religion,” as well as human rights violations.”How many wounds, how much suffering there is in the world,” Benedict told tens of thousands of pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered Sunday at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, where he had just finished celebrating Mass. Benedict said suffering worldwide puts faith to the test.”Afghanistan is marked by growing unrest and instability,” he said. “In the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, unfortunately, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees.”He also had harsh words about the “underestimated humanitarian situation” in Darfur as well as other African places of suffering.
Pope sees slaughter, progress in Mideast