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Papal appeal for pirates' hostages

July 11, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI made a plea for the release of hostages who have been captured by pirates at his Sunday audience on July 10.

The Pope marked the annual “Day of the Sea” by meeting with the familioes of some hostages at his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. During his midday audience he offered a prayer “for their families, that they may remain strong in the faith and not lose hope.” He also prayed for the hostages themselves, that they may be treated with respect and humanity and “soon be reunited with their loved ones.” Piracy has become an increasingly severe problem, particularly in the seas off the shore of Somalia. Pirates took more than 1,000 hostages last year, and more than 400 people are still held captive.


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