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    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Middle East nest of fire

    Dialogue in the Middle East conjures up thoughts of Jimmy Carter. Yet it is still true that after all this time, Egypt has remained non-combative with Israel.

    Now we have the Gaza Strip, Iran, Iraq, and lesser threats. Who could work such a thing as dialogue now?

    No one comes to mind, but the Holy Father reminds us that we are all missing the point. There is only one solution, yet no one has any vision for bringing it forth.

    I bet it's only through prayer, and God Help Us, seems an appropriate one.


    Benedict said he considered it his duty in Francis's birthplace -- "this city of peace" -- to make "a pressing and heartfelt appeal so that all the armed conflicts that bloody the earth may cease, so that weapons may go silent and so that, everywhere, hate gives way to love, offense to forgiveness, and discord to union."

    "We feel spiritually close to all those who weep, who suffer, and who die because of war and its tragic consequences in whatever part of the world," the pope said at the end of Mass in a courtyard below the Basilica of St. Francis, which houses the saint's tomb.

    "Our thoughts go in a special way to the Holy Land, beloved by St. Francis, to Iraq, to Lebanon, to the entire Middle East," the pontiff said. "The populations of those places have known, for too long, the horrors of fighting, of terrorism, of blind violence, the illusion that force can resolve conflicts."

    "Only responsible and sincere dialogue, backed by the generous support of the international community, can put an end to so much sorrow and restore life and dignity," Benedict sad.


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