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Pope calls for peace in Easter message

April 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM   |   Comments

VATICAN CITY, April 24 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to fighting in Libya during his Easter message before 150,000 people in St. Peter's Square, witnesses said.

The pope also said happy Easter in 65 languages, from Italian to Guarani, Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported Sunday.

"May the Lord arouse, in individuals, families and communities, the craving for more and more unity and harmony," the pope said. "Place your strength in the strength of the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ; it's a strength that supports all those who generously work for common good."

The pope also pronounced the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing that is proffered at Easter and Christmas.

He also called for an end to the violence in Libya.

"In the current conflict in Libya, may diplomacy and dialogue take the place of arms, and may those who suffer as a result of the conflict be given access to humanitarian aid," CNN quoted Benedict as saying.

The pope also addressed the issue of immigration, calling for reconciliation and forgiveness.

"May the many refugees coming from several African countries, forced to leave behind their dear ones, receive the solidarity of everyone; may the men of good will be enlightened and open their hearts to them, may they meet the pressing needs of so many brothers in harmony; may the ones who are giving generous support and aid, thus giving the example, know how much we appreciate them," Benedict said.

The pope also offered a blessing to the victims of violence in the Ivory Coast.

"May the people of Cote d'Ivorie find peace again," the pope said. "Reconciliation and forgiveness are utmost to heal the wounds caused by the recent violence."

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