Pope Prays for Afghan Troops and Civilians

After praying the Angelus on Sept. 20, Pope Benedict XVI offered his prayers for civilians caught in the world’s conflicts and foreign troops working to promote peace and development. Speaking from the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI said that he was deeply saddened to hear of the roadside bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed 10 Afghan civilians and six Italian soldiers on Sept. 17.

The deaths and injuries resulting from violence around the world “are facts we can never grow accustomed to and that incur strong reprimand and dismay in communities that hold peace and civil coexistence close to heart,” the pope said. While he had special prayers for the families of the Italian casualities, the pope said he was also pained by the deaths of members of other international contingents “who work to promote peace and the development of institutions necessary for human coexistence.”

Pope Benedict said he prayed to God “with a special thought for the dear civilian population,” and he appealed to all parties to oppose “the logic of violence and death by fostering justice, reconciliation and peace and supporting the development of people, starting with love and mutual understanding.” The pope also sent a telegram that was read during the state funeral for the six Italian soldiers at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls on Sept. 21.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis listens to a question from Vera Shcherbakova of the Itar-Tass news agency while talking with journalists aboard his flight from Cairo to Rome April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The situation in North Korea, he added, has been heated for a long time, "but now it seems it has heated up too much, no?"
Gerard O'ConnellApril 29, 2017
Pope Francis greets children dressed as pharaohs and in traditional dress as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Francis took the risk, trusting in God. His decision transmitted a message of hope on the political front to all Egyptians, Christians and Muslims alike, who are well aware that their country is today a target for ISIS terrorists and is engaged in a battle against terrorism.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 29, 2017
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The only kind of fanaticism that is acceptable to God is being fanatical about loving and helping others, Pope Francis said on his final day in Egypt.
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists in the Oval Office at the White House on March 24 after the American Health Care Act was pulled before a vote. (CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters)
Predictably Mr. Trump has also clashed with the Catholic Church and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on many of the policies he has promoted during his first 100 days.
Kevin ClarkeApril 28, 2017