Catholic World News News Feature
"Stop!" Pope bids terrorists July 11, 2005
"Stop, in God's name!" Pope Benedict XVI issued that plea to terrorists at his Angelus audience on Sunday, July 10.
The Holy Father voiced his "profound grief over the atrocious terrorist attacks" that had shocked London two days earlier. He prayed for the victims and their families, and condemned those who "nourish feelings of hatred" and engage in "such repugnant terrorist acts."
The Pope was speaking to about 40,000 people in St. Peter's Square. That unusually large crowd was attracted by the last Sunday audience by Benedict XVI prior to his departure for a vacation in the Italian Alps and several weeks at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Before leading the Angelus prayer, the Pope called attention to the feast of St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine order and patron of Europe, which falls on July 11. He remarked that St. Benedict "sowed the seed of a new civilization" in Europe, forming a Christian culture in a pagan world. Pope Benedict remarked that today's world needs urgently to recover a central insight of St. Benedict's message: "Place nothing before the love of Christ." That insight, he said, counteracts "a mediocre life marked by minimalist ethics and superficial religiosity."
The Holy Father added that St. Benedict is "particularly dear to me, as you can deduce from the choice that I made to take his name" upon being elected to the papacy. He observed that St. Benedict founded his religious order not to convert the world but to serve God completely-- and conversions came as a natural consequence. Today, he said, the Church also needs "to anchor life and history to solid spiritual references."
The Pope concluded his audience by urging the faithful to remain steady in their prayer, and especially their attendance at Sunday Mass, during the summer months. Noting that he would be headed off on vacation, and staying at the Alpine chalet where Pope John Paul II often sojourned, he asked for prayers as he said his goodbye for the summer.