Breaking News Stories
These are news stories breaking after the publishing of this Word
– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
8: The Vatican demonstrating intolerance for the Muslims in Europe. Possibility
of the Pope speaking negatively toward the Muslim faith, its beliefs and the
Qur’an. He could conceivably call for a new "crusade" against Islam.
Pope Issues Call to Combat Terrorism
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI warned Sunday that terrorism, nihilism
and "fanatic fundamentalism" threatened world peace, and he called on
individuals, governments and institutions to work together to combat
Benedict made the appeal during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to mark
New Year's Day, which the Roman Catholic Church celebrates annually as
its World Day of Peace.
In his homily, the pope said a "shock" of courage and faith in God was
necessary to spread peace, and that everyone must work together to
combat the threats to it.
"It becomes ever more important to work together for peace when
confronting the situations of injustice and violence that continue to
oppress various parts of the world, those that are the new and most
insidious threats to peace: terrorism, nihilism and fanatic
fundamentalism," he said.
He said individuals, international organizations and world powers must
take responsibility for promoting justice, solidarity and peace.
In particular, he called for the United Nations to assume a renewed
understanding of its responsibility to promote peace and justice "in a
world ever more marked by the vast phenomenon of globalization."
After the Mass, tens of thousands of people standing under a carpet of
umbrellas to guard against a downpour jammed the piazza to hear Benedict
issue New Year's Day greetings in a half-dozen languages from his
Ambassadors accredited to the Vatican were among the hundreds of people
who packed St. Peter's for the morning Mass, which also was celebrated
by the pope's top diplomat, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, his deputies and
Cardinal Renato Martino, who heads the Vatican's office for justice and
During the Mass, youngsters dressed as the three kings and adults
dressed in traditional costumes brought the offertory gifts up to the
altar, which was decked with pines and flowers for the Christmas holiday
season. Prayers were read out in a host of languages, including Chinese,
Russian and Arabic.
The pope said he was praying that 2006 would "be for all of us a year of
prosperity and peace."
The Mass came hours after Benedict presided over a New Year's Eve
vespers' service in the basilica, which he capped with a brief visit to
pray before the larger-than-life Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square.
Benedict's busy holiday schedule continues this week with his weekly
general audience Wednesday, a Mass to mark Epiphany on Friday and a
ceremony on Sunday in which he will baptize several newborns in the
frescoed Sistine Chapel.
The baptism ceremony was a beloved tradition of Pope John Paul II, who
often had to interrupt his prayers because the babies were crying. John
Paul stopped performing the baptisms when he became too infirm.
The Vatican, meanwhile, issued Benedict's calendar of events for the
next several months, confirming that he will follow in many of John
Paul's footsteps as he marks the upcoming liturgical year.
On March 1, for example, he is scheduled to travel across town to a
fifth-century basilica to mark Ash Wednesday, the start of the church's
solemn Lenten season.
During Easter week in April, he is to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at
Rome's St. John Lateran basilica and then preside over the Way of the
Cross commemoration of Christ's death April 14 during a torch-lit
ceremony at Rome's Colosseum.
John Paul used to celebrate these rituals until he became unable to and
others had to preside for him.
On April 3, a day after the first anniversary of John Paul's death,
Benedict will preside over a special Mass in St. Peter's to commemorate