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    » 11/30/2005, 00.00

    VATICAN - WORLD AIDS DAY

    Pope: "I feel near to people with AIDS and their families"



    Benedict XVI encouraged those fighting against AIDS and made an appeal to the international and church communities for World AIDS Day. The Pope also recalled the Shoah, "an indelible disgrace in the history of mankind".

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI made an appeal for people with AIDS in anticipation of World AIDS Day set to be marked tomorrow. The Pope encouraged all those fighting to overcome the terrible virus, saying he is near to those who suffer from it and to their families. He also exhorted the international and church communities to show solidarity. "Tomorrow, 1 December, is World AIDS Day, an initiative of the United Nations aiming to draw attention to the scourge of AIDS and to invite the international community to a renewed commitment in the work of prevention and support for those who are affected. Relevant statistics are alarming!" he said at the end of the general audience.

    "Following Christ's example closely, the Church has always considered the care of infirm people to be an integral part of its mission. I therefore encourage the many initiatives under way to overcome this sickness, especially by church communities, and I feel close to people with AIDS and their families, invoking upon them the Lord's help and comfort."

    In his address to around 25,000 people who turned up for the audience in St Peter's Square despite the grey and rainy weather, Benedict XVI talked about Shoah, "an indelible disgrace in the history of mankind". And thus Benedict XVI referred again – after the strong words he used in the synagogue in Cologne – to the extermination of the Jews, commenting on Psalm 136, "By the rivers of Babylon", which "has as its background the land of exile, with its rivers and canals, the very same which irrigated the Babylonian plains, where the deported Jews were". He added: "This is almost a symbolic foresight of the extermination camps where the Jewish people – in the century we have just left behind – were sent in an infamous operation of death, which remains as an indelible disgrace in the history of mankind."

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    See also

    12/02/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: Unacceptable to deny, minimize Holocaust, "a crime against God and against humanity"
    Receiving a visit from the heads of the leading American Jewish organizations, Benedict XVI said "I too am preparing to visit Israel." The Church is "profoundly and irrevocably" committed to rejecting anti-Semitism. He repeated the words with which John Paul II asked forgiveness from God for the injustices suffered by the Jewish people.

    28/05/2006 POLAND
    Pope: Auschwitz, where Hitler wanted to kill God, and where man cried out at his "silence"

    Benedict XVI wound up his visit to Poland in the extermination camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, talking about the Shoah and Nazism, which desired the death of God, and about those suffering today because of evil. But he spoke also about reconciliation and God's love.



    01/12/2004 WORLD AIDS DAY - VATICAN
    The Vatican on Aids: "Chastity and fidelity, means to defeat the fatal virus"
    A message from the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care. Special care for women struck by the disease. More than 25% of centres for victims of AIDS in the world are Catholic.

    24/05/2009 VATICAN
    From the land of St Benedict my thoughts go to the people of China and it’s Catholics, says Pope
    Marking the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China and Our Lady of Sheshan (Shanghai). Saint Benedict, witness of peace, gift of God and duty of all.

    24/01/2007 VATICAN
    Pope: the media must respect children
    In his message for the World day for social communications, Benedict XVI speaks of the “challenge” that the media pose to youth education. The role of those who have this duty, starting with parents, is education regarding freedom, a freedom that cannot be exclusively seen in terms of physical pleasure or new experiences.



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