Pope Appeals for Return to Peace in Kyrgyzstan


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(20 Jun 10 - RV) During his Angelus address this Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI appealed for end to dramatic situation in Kyrgyzstan. Speaking to an estimated 20 thousand people who withstood unseasonably bad weather, the Holy Father said:

"'I want to make an urgent appeal so that peace and security are quickly restored in southern Kyrgyzstan, following serious clashes in recent days. To the relatives of the victims and those suffering from this tragedy I express my heartfelt closeness and assure them of my prayers. I also invite all ethnic communities in the country to forgo any further provocation or violence and I ask the international community to work so that humanitarian aid quickly reaches the affected populations".

Refugee Rights and Duties

Pope Benedict also recalled the UN World Refugee Day marked this Sunday, the aim of which he said is "to draw attention to the problems of those who have been forced to leave their land families, and customs arriving in environments that are often very different . The refugees want to find acceptance and be recognized in their dignity and their fundamental rights, at the same time, they want to offer their contribution to the society that welcomes them.

Pope Benedict concluded "Let us pray so that in a just reciprocity, we may respond adequately to this expectation and that they may show the respect they nurture for the identity of the communities that receive them".

Priestly immersion

Pope Benedict was uncharacteristically late for his midday appointment with pilgrims. But with good reason as he explained in his comments in Italian, before the Angelus prayer. Sunday morning, in his role as the Bishop of Rome, he laid his hands upon the heads of 14 men from his diocese, during the solemn celebration of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Commenting on today's Gospel Luke Chapter 9, he said "Jesus calls us to carry our cross in union with him. May we always give ourselves to him and thus discover anew the joy that he promises to those who follow him. Upon you and your loved ones at home, I invoke the blessings of Almighty God".