“I pray for all those involved in this tragic situation and make strong appeal to those with political and military responsibility to take into account as a priority the safety of the population and to ensure access to humanitarian aid.”
The pope said that he is closely following the situation in Libya and that he prayed for peace in that country during his week of retreat.
“I want to assure my affectionate closeness to the people and to ask God to grant a horizon of peace and harmony on Libya and all of North Africa.”
According to figures from the Aid to the Church in Need, Christians in Libya represent only 2.7% of the population. The main religion is Sunni Islam.
The pope also reflected on the Transfiguration of Jesus, which is the Gospel read during Mass for the Second Sunday of Lent. The pope explained that the Transfiguration does not change who Jesus is but reveals that he is God, that he is pure light.
“Strengthened by our faith in Jesus, true God and true man, may we be inspired, not scandalized, by the Cross given to our Saviour and to our fellow Christians who suffer with him throughout the world.”
The pope invited Catholics to do some act of voluntary penance during Lent, in addition to that which comes during the course of everyday life.