Pontiff Warns Against Getting Used to War Fatalities
Laments World's Numerous Deadly Conflicts
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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 20, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The world must be careful not to get used to receiving news of fatalities that result from the various armed conflicts currently taking place around the globe, warned Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today after praying the Angelus together with those gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.
"From the numerous conflicts going on in the world," the Pontiff said, "almost daily tragic news reaches us of both military and civilian victims. These are facts that we must never get used to, and they arouse a profound outcry and perplex societies that have the good of peace and civil coexistence at heart."
The Holy Father mentioned in particular the deaths of six Italian soldiers who were killed in a car bomb attack Thursday in Afghanistan. The fatalities mark the biggest loss for the country since it sent troops to the war there.
"In prayer I share in the sufferings of relatives and the civil and military communities," Benedict XVI continued. "At the same time, with the same sentiments of participation, I think about the other international contingents, which have also recently had victims and that work to promote peace and the development of the institutions so necessary for human coexistence."
"I assure all of a remembrance before the Lord, with a special thought for the dear civilian populations, and I invite all to lift up our prayer to God," the Pope said. "I would also like here to renew my encouragement for the promotion of solidarity among the nations to fight the logic of violence and death, favor justice, reconciliation, peace and sustain the development of peoples beginning with love and mutual understanding, as I recently wrote in my encyclical "Caritas in Veritate."
The U.S. Defense Department noted that as of Saturday, some 764 troops have died in the Afghanistan region since the invasion there in 2001.