From the Australian:
POPE Benedict XVI prayed for peace in the Middle East as he delivered his first Easter Sunday blessing last night to a cheering crowd of 80,000 pilgrims in StPeter’s Square.
Celebrating his 79th birthday and clutching the silver staff of his predecessor, John Paul II, Pope Benedict called for an end to terrorism and referred to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“In Iraq, may peace finally prevail over the tragic violence that continues mercilessly to claim victims,” he said.
“May the international community, which reaffirms Israel’s just right to exist in peace, assist the Palestinian people to overcome the precarious conditions in which they live and to rebuild their future, moving towards the constitution of a state that is truly their own.”
Benedict called for relief in war-torn and famine-stricken parts of Africa, and called on Latin American countries to consolidate their democracies to improve living conditions for the poor.
He referred to Iran’s nuclear efforts, backing talks on the issue. “Concerning the international crises linked to nuclear power, may an honorable solution be found for all parties through serious and honest negotiations,” he said…
Earlier yesterday, Benedict told worshippers at the Easter mass that Christ’s resurrection sent a message “contrary to all ideologies of violence”…