07/05/2009, 00.00
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Pope condemns violence in Cotabato. God responds to violence with the blood of his Son

Benedict XVI deplores the attack near the cathedral in the Filipino city and stresses that the use of violence will never bring about a solution to problems. Reflection before the Angelus dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, source of hope in a world torn apart by violence and hatred.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - At the end of the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI today condemned this morning’s attack in front of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cotabato in the Philippines. The Pope assured his prayers for the victims, among which there are "women and children" and raised his voice to “condemn the use of violence, which is never a way of solving problems.”

And violence and Christ’s non-violent response to it was in fact at the heart of his reflection before the Marian prayer: "Christ - he said - did not respond to evil with evil but with good, with his infinite love”. The blood of Jesus, indeed, is a source of hope for all mankind, marked by violence and hatred.

The pope recalled that the first Sunday of July in the past was dedicated to the devotion of the Most Precious Blood of Christ. Blood was important in the Old Testament: "the sprinkling with the blood of sacrificed animals - said the pope - in the Old Testament, represented and established the covenant between God and his people”.  Jesus shed his blood as the sacrificial lamb of the Old Covenant: "from his scourging, to the piercing of his side after his death of the cross, Christ poured out all of his blood, as the true Lamb slain for universal redemption”.

Benedict XVI said that in the world today, the blood that is still being spilled "cries out to God", like that of Abel, killed by Cain (c. Genesis 4:10). "And sadly, today as yesterday, this cry is incessant, because human blood continues to flow as a result of violence, injustice and hatred. When will people learn that life is sacred and belongs to God alone? When will people understand that we are all brothers? To the cry for blood, which is raised from many parts of the earth, God answers with the blood of his Son, who gave his life for us. Christ did not respond to evil with evil but with good, with his infinite love. The blood of Christ is the pledge of God's faithful love for humanity. Gazing at the wounds of the crucified Christ, every man, even in extreme moral poverty, can say: God has not forsaken me, He loves me, He gave his life for me; and so rediscover hope”.  

"May the Virgin Mary - concluded the pope – who at the foot of the cross, together with the apostle John, gathered up Christ’s testament of blood of Jesus, help us to rediscover the inestimable riches of this grace, and to feel intimate and enduring gratitude”.

At the end of prayer, Benedict XVI also recalled the victims of Viareggio rail disaster, where a silo containing liquid gas exploded resulting in 22 deaths.




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