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

This is the 70th year the event has been held, modeled on similar blessings back in Portugal.
I’ve only been a priest for 13 years. How could I possibly be at the point that I am just recycling ideas?
Jim McDermottJune 27, 2017
People gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 in Washington. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA) 
The high court, in a 7-2 ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, sided with the religious school.
Activists rally outside U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 26 after the court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., which sued after being denied a state grant for creating a safer playground (CNS photo/Yuri Gripas, Reuters). 
The Supreme Court court ruled on June 26 that the government may not exclude religious groups from grant programs simply because they are religious.
Ellen K. BoegelJune 27, 2017