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Pope: religion should build peace, fight racism

Posted by on Sep. 7, 2009 at 8:08 AM
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VITERBO, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI marked the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II on Sunday by saying religion should promote peace and fight racism and totalitarianism.

The German-born Benedict said the memory of one of the worst conflicts in history should serve as a warning to never repeat such a "barbarity" as the Holocaust and the extermination of millions of innocents.

"The contribution that religion can and must make is particularly important in promoting forgiveness and reconciliation against violence, racism, totalitarianism and extremism, which defile the image of the Creator in man," he said.

Benedict spoke during his traditional Sunday blessing while visiting Viterbo, a city north of Rome that once rivaled Rome as the residence for popes. Viterbo also was the site of five papal elections, or conclaves, and is affectionately known as the "city of popes."

The 82-year-old Benedict has spoken out frequently about the horrors of World War II. The pontiff was forced to serve in the Hitler Youth corps and later in the army before deserting near the end of the war.

This week, European leaders gathered in Gdansk, Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the opening salvo of the war, when a German battleship shelled a Polish military outpost.


(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

by on Sep. 7, 2009 at 8:08 AM
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LavenderMom23
by Bronze Member on Sep. 17, 2009 at 5:38 PM

I wonder how he handled that situation.

Quote:

The pontiff was forced to serve in the Hitler Youth corps and later in the army before deserting near the end of the war.

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