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Pope Benedict calls for peace in Iraq

March 16, 2008 at 12:42 PM

ROME, March 16 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI took time during Palm Sunday mass in Rome to denounce the war in Iraq, calling for an immediate end of the conflict.

The pope completed Sunday's ceremony by blaming the disruption of regular Iraqi life on the international conflict and his plea for an end to the war was met with thunderous applause at St. Peter's Square, the Voice of America reported.

"Enough with the slaughters, enough with the violence, enough with the hatred in Iraq," the spiritual leader of the world's Roman Catholics told the thousands of people in attendance.

The pope's comments not only came during the official start of the church's Holy Week celebrations, but came days after the body of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was found in Mosul, Iraq.

The pope called his killing an inhuman act of violence.

The pope has plans to honor the slain religious leader with a memorial service at the Vatican Monday, the Voice of America said.

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